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In Brief This Week: Cancer Research UK, NeoGenomics, Luminex, and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Cancer Research UK and AstraZeneca said this week that they are opening a new functional genomics center in the UK. The Joint Cancer Research UK – AstraZeneca Functional Genomics Centre will focus on the function and interaction of genes and proteins in cancer and use technologies such as CRISPR to create models of disease. It will be a resource for both institutions' researchers and partners working at all stages of translational research. The center will be housed in the Milner Therapeutics Institute at the University of Cambridge.

NeoGenomics said this week it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Genoptix. The acquisition expands NeoGenomics' reach into the oncology space and significantly accelerates the company's progress toward its scale and growth objectives. NeoGenomics acquired Genoptix for $125 million in cash, as adjusted by working capital and other adjustments, and 1 million shares of NeoGenomics common stock. Genoptix is expected to contribute $85 million in revenue and break-even EBITDA in the first year, $25 million in cost synergies over time, and 25 percent EBITDA margin by the end of year three.

Fluidigm said today that it closed its previously announced underwritten public offering of approximately 9.4 million shares of its common stock. The stock was sold at a price to the public of $6.75 per share from the company's existing shelf registration statement. The shares include about 1.2 million that were sold pursuant to an overallotment option granted by Fluidigm to the underwriters, which was exercised in full. Fluidigm said net proceeds from the offering were approximately $59.1 million after underwriting discounts and commissions and the estimated expenses of the offering.

Fluidigm intends to use the net proceeds of the offering for general corporate purposes, including working capital, capital expenditures and continued research and development with respect to products and technologies, and to fund possible investments in or acquisitions of complementary businesses, products, or technologies.

Luminex's board of directors this week declared a fourth quarter cash dividend of $.06 per share, payable on Jan. 10, 2019 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on Dec. 20, 2018.

The Petco Foundation said this week it has awarded a $300,000 grant to a team led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Ohio State University for a lung cancer precision medicine study in dogs. The study builds on previous work by the same team suggesting that targeted drugs used in cancer patients may also work in dogs with canine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (CPAC). In particular, the researchers found a cancer mutation that occurs in almost half of dogs with CPAC and can be treated with a targeted cancer drug. Certain breeds are at particular risk of the disease, including labrador retrievers, bichon frisés, cocker spaniels, and miniature schnauzers. CPAC clinically resembles human lung cancer in never-smokers, and the hope is that results from the study might lead to better treatments for humans with lung cancer.

Toronto, Canada-based SQI Diagnostics this week reported that revenues for its fiscal fourth quarter rose 447 percent to C$563,000 ($422,250) from C$126,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, the firm recorded a net loss of C$2.0 million, or C$.01 per share, compared to a net loss of C$1.5 million, or C$.01 per share in the prior-year quarter.

SQI's Q4 R&D expenses rose 15 percent year over year to C$870,000 from C$757,000, and its corporate, general, sales, and marketing expenses rose 19 percent to C$761,000 from C$641,000.

For fiscal 2018, the firm reported revenues of C$1.3 million, up 38 percent from $968,000 in fiscal 2017.

SQI recorded a 2018 net loss of C$7.4 million, or C$.06, compared to a net loss of C$5.9 million, or C$.06 per share, in 2017.

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