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In Brief This Week: CBLPath, Roche; Complete Genomics; Gen-Probe; Sigma-Aldrich; Warnex; BD

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – CBLPath has received approval in New York to offer in-house Roche's cobas 4800 BRAF V600 Mutation Test for metastatic melanoma. The approval from the New York State Department of Health makes CBLPath one of a few laboratories in the US to offer the test, the Rye Brook, NY-based lab said.

The US Food and Drug Administration approved Zelboraf (vemurafenib), co-developed by Roche and Daiichi Sankyo, for treating patients with melanoma whose tumors express the gene mutation BRAF V600E. Roche's test was approved at the same time as a companion diagnostic for the drug.

Complete Genomics launched a Genomic Discovery Software Partners program this week, naming Ingenuity Systems, Golden Helix, and DNAnexus as initial partners.

"We are launching this program to let the entire genetic research community know that these partners offer solutions compatible with Complete Genomics' data that can accelerate the pace of biological discoveries," Complete Genomics Chairman, President, and CEO Clifford Reid said in a statement.

The firm intends to add additional partners.

Gen-Probe has amended a $250 million credit facility, extending the maturity date for an additional one-year period. The revolving credit facility now expires on Feb. 22, 2013, the firm said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. As of Dec. 31, 2011, the total amount outstanding under the revolving credit facility was $248 million. Bank of America has provided the facility, which was initially entered into three years ago.

Sigma-Aldrich said this week that its board of directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.20 per share. The dividend is payable on March 15 to shareholders of record on March 1.

Warnex has suspended the sales of its Analytical Services division "due to the failure of its prospective purchaser to perform its obligations as contemplated by the binding agreement entered into between the parties," Warnex said this week. The firm entered into a deal in December 2011 to sell the division for $1.1 million to an unnamed private company.

BD this week acquired Kiestra Lab Automation, a Dutch firm that sells automation products for the microbiology lab. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In Brief This Week is a Friday column containing news items that our readers may have missed during the week.

The Scan

Should've Been Spotted Sooner

Scientists tell the Guardian that SARS-CoV-2 testing issues at a UK lab should have been noticed earlier.

For Martian Fuel

Researchers have outlined a plan to produce rocket fuel on Mars that uses a combination of sunlight, carbon dioxide, frozen water, cyanobacteria, and engineered E. coli, according to Gizmodo.

To Boost Rapid Testing

The Washington Post writes that new US programs aim to boost the availability of rapid at-home SARS-CoV-2 tests.

PNAS Papers on Strawberry Evolution, Cell Cycle Regulators, False-Positive Triplex Gene Editing

In PNAS this week: strawberry pan-genome, cell cycle-related roles for MDM2 and MDMX, and more.