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In Brief This Week: CareDx, Twist Bioscience, Kytopen, and More

NEW YORK – A judge for the Unites States District Court of Delaware has adopted the recommendations of a magistrate judge in a false advertising lawsuit filed by CareDx against Natera, largely ruling against Natera's motion to dismiss the suit. In his report, which was filed earlier this month, the magistrate judge recommended upholding CareDx's false advertising and unfair competition claims, while noting that the counts in the lawsuit relating to trademark disparagement and unfair trade practices should be dismissed without prejudice. He wrote that CareDx should be given 14 days to refile amended complaints for those two claims. The district judge wholly adopted the magistrate's recommendations and overruled an objection that Natera had filed to the report.

Twist Bioscience this week completed a $50 million stock offering priced at-the-market. The San Francisco-based DNA synthesis firm said that it issued approximately 2.2 million shares of common stock at an average price of $22.32 per share. Twist intends to use the funds for working capital and to fund growth. Cowen acted as the firm's agent.

MIT spinout Kytopen said this week that it has partnered with Cambridge Consultants to codevelop the Flowfect system for cell engineering. The technology uses fluid flow and electric fields to deliver mRNA, DNA, and CRISPR payloads in induced pluripotent stem cells, primary T cells, and other human cells being developed for immunoncology and other applications.

StageZero Life Sciences announced this week that it closed a private placement financing for $674,408.80. The placement was structured as units at $.04 each, with each unit including one common share and one half warrant. The funds will be used to advance the company’s commercialization efforts and for general working capital.

HudsonAlpha Health Alliance and East Alabama Medical Center said this week that they have launched a pilot program to offer genomic health screening to select employees eligible to participate based on their current cholesterol levels. The organizations said a goal of the program is to help healthcare providers optimize treatments for individuals.

Angle this week said that its interim revenues for the first half of its fiscal 2020 rose 33 percent year over year to £400,000 ($441,000) from £300,000 in H1 2019. More than 16,000 samples were processed during the six months ended Oct. 31, 2019. The loss for H1 2020 is expected to be £5.3 million compared to a loss of £4.2 million a year ago. Angle had a cash balance of £20.4 million as of Oct. 31. It noted that it has completed clinical and analytical studies to support clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration of the firm's Parsortix system for capturing and harvesting circulating tumor cells from metastatic breast cancer patients. The presubmission process has been completed while a full de novo application is being prepared, with a submission targeted for the first three months of 2020.

Enzo Biochem announced this week that its board has proposed amending its bylaws to increase the size of the board from five to six directors, and providing the board with the option to raise the number of directors to seven. The board further recommended to shareholders that they elect both nominees of company shareholder Harbert Discovery Fund, which owns 11.8 percent of the firm's shares, to the board. 

The board said it recommended these changes after it was unable to reach an agreement with Harbert on adding its two nominees to the board. As a result, Enzo said, it recommends increasing the size of the board in order to provide shareholders with additional choices. Harbert objected to the recommendations, noting that expanding the board to seven members is inappropriate for a company the size of Enzo.

In a document filed this week with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Bionano Genomics said it has regained compliance with Nasdaq market listing requirements. The San Diego-based genome mapping company said it received a letter from the Nasdaq on Jan. 17, confirming that it met the requirement of having a market value of listed securities of at least $35 million. The Nasdaq had first notified Bionano that it was out of compliance in August. In October, the company priced an $18M public offering of shares and warrants.

Oncocyte said this week that it is moving its national headquarters to Irvine in Orange County, California. The new facility will replace its Alameda office in the Bay Area. According to the firm, the move reflects a continuing commitment to the growth of the company, which is looking to further expand its team. 

The company noted that it considered multiple locations across the US, ultimately settling on Orange County because of its proximity to talent and community treatment centersas well as its affordability and opportunity for future growth. Clinical institutions in the area include the Leonard Cancer Institute at Mission Hospital, the recently opened City of Hope Cancer Center, and Hoag Hospital.

MagBio Genomics announced this week that it has received ISO 9001:2015 certification. ISO 9001 is an internationally recognized standard that specifies the requirements for a quality management system. The certification demonstrates the firm's commitment to continually improving its magnetic bead-based products for nucleic acid isolationMagBio said.

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.