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In Brief This Week: Bruker, Qiagen, Exosome Diagnostics, and More

Bruker said this week that it has acquired high-speed infrared imaging microscopy firm IRM for an undisclosed amount. IRM's products are based on quantum cascade laser methods, and the deal expands Bruker's technology portfolio and market opportunities for infrared microscopy, the firm said. It noted, in particular, the fields of biological tissue analysis and materials science, as well as possibly tissue diagnostics in the future.

Qiagen this week opened Qiagen Business Services in Manila, its new shared service center in the Philippines. QBS Manila will provide services related to supply chain management, customer care, and accounting, as well as technical services and other sales support activities to Qiagen's global operations. Supporting Qiagen businesses specifically in the US and the Asia Pacific region, QBS Manila is expected to play an important role in the global provision of services to the company and its clients. Total headcount in Qiagen's Manila site is expected to reach about 200 over the next 18 months. The new center complements Qiagen's existing shared service center in Wroclaw, Poland, which has grown to more than 350 employees since opening in 2013.

Exosome Diagnostics said this week that it has expanded the coverage of its ExoDx Prostate IntelliScore (EPI) cancer test to an additional 82 million covered lives in the US, bringing the total to about 100 million. The firm said that the additional coverage is the result of contracts to provide laboratory services and ExoDx prostate cancer testing to patients of three preferred provider organizations in the US Three Rivers Provider Network, FedMed, and America's Choice Provider Network. EPI has been priced on Medicare's Clinical Lab Fee Schedule for 2018, which provides a basis for pricing and coverage of its test within PPO networks, the firm said.

TATAA Biocenter said this week it has expanded its digital PCR offerings with Stilla Technologies' three-color digital PCR system, Naica. TATAA Biocenter Founder and CEO Michael Kubista noted in a statement that digital PCR is the "most important complement" to qPCR and next-generation sequencing and can be used for standardization, copy number variation, and rare mutation analysis. He also said that the addition of the Naica system is a "major strengthening" of TATAA's service and training offerings.

The College of American Pathologists this week filed an amicus curiae in support of the American Clinical Laboratory Association's request for summary judgement to set aside new Medicare reimbursement rates for laboratory tests. The rates were implemented by the US Department of Health and Human Services on Jan. 1, creating new market-based rates for a wide range of diagnostic tests conducted in laboratories. ACLA originally sued HHS in December saying the agency did not follow of the directions from Congress to establish the new rates, which were created as part of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act. At particular issue are the types of labs whose data were used by HHS to establish the new PAMA rates. ACLA and CAP contend that the vast majority of hospital labs were incorrectly excluded from the process, resulting in rates that did not reflect true market rates for test reimbursements, which were used to calculate PAMA rates.

Theradiag this week reported 2017 revenues of €9.1 million ($11.2 million), up 1 percent from €9 million in 2016.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2017, the firm's in vitro diagnostics revenues were €4.9 million, down 2 percent from €5.0 million in 2016, and its theranostics business revenues were €4.2 million, up 4 percent from €4.0 million in the previous year.

Eighty percent of the firm's theranostics revenues were due to sales of its CE-marked Lisa Tracker, a multiparametric diagnostic for the management of patients with autoimmune diseases treated with biotherapies. The firm noted that Lisa Tracker revenues, which were up 20 percent year over year, consisted of direct sales to hospitals and medical analysis laboratories and sales obtained through partnerships with Inform Diagnostics, Janssen, Biogen, Merck Sharp & Dohme, and Hospira/Pfizer.

As of Dec. 31, Theradiag's available net cash was €5.2 million.


Danaher's board this week approved a regular quarterly dividend of $.16 per share, payable on April 27 to shareholders of record on March 29.

Sygnis said this week that it has extended an OEM agreement with an unnamed global life sciences tools firm, which is expected to generate annual revenues of more than €800,000 ($986,000) over the two years of the contract. In addition, Sygnis said it is in discussions with the partner to supply it with its Expedeon Lightning-Link labeling reagents for use in commercially available research assays.

10x Genomics announced this week that it has joined the European Molecular Biology Laboratory's (EMBL) corporate partnership program. Through the new partnership 10x Genomics will provide advanced training in single-cell genomics and transcriptomics to investigators interested in single cell genomics. Training will be hosted at the EMBL Advanced Training Centre in Heidelberg, Germany.

Mars Petcare said this week that it has partnered with MediSapiens to develop precision healthcare products for pets. The partnership follows Mars Petcare's acquisition of Genoscoper Laboratories, a long time partner of MediSapiens. MediSapiens' longtime developments aimed at accelerating discovery of genetic health markers and promoting better health for pets will be continued under the new partnership, the companies added.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital announced this week that it is investing $412 million into an advanced research center. The center will be designed as an interactive 625,000-square-foot hub to cultivate transformative research and collaboration, and attract scientists and clinicians to St. Jude. Its labs will focus on immunology, neurobiology, cell and molecular biology, gene editing, metabolomics, advanced microscopy, epigenetics, genomics, immunotherapy and RNA biology. The center is slated to break ground in the spring and to open in 2021.

In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared on the GenomeWeb site.