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In Brief This Week: Cepheid; BD; Transgenomic; Synthetic Genomics; Genetic Technologies; BioTime; Kiyatec; ABL

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Cepheid this week received CE marking for its Xpert CT/NG and Xpert CT tests, and the firm said it would begin shipping the tests in Europe immediately. The tests are for rapid detection and differentiation of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhea and run on Cepheid's GeneXpert System.

The Board of Directors of Becton Dickinson has declared a quarterly dividend of $.45 per share. The dividend is payable on June 29 to shareholders of record on June 8.

Transgenomic has received CE IVD Mark registration for diagnostic use of its Wave MCE System and Surveyor Scan KRAS Kit, the firm said this week. The kit is being distributed in Europe by Transgenomic partner A. Menarini Diagnostics.

Synthetic Genomics this week said that it has purchased an 81 acre site, located in the Imperial Valley near the Salton Sea in Southern California, for scale up and testing of newly identified and engineered algal strains. The company will use the site to test algal strains isolated by SGI or developed through its synthetic genomic technologies, and to develop integrated processes for low-cost manufacturing of various algal products including food, flavorings, and nutritional products, said SGI.

Australian firm Genetic Technologies said this week that it has signed up four US preferred provider organizations to cover its BrevaGen breast cancer risk stratification test. The PPOs include Prime Health Services; National Preferred Provider Network/PlanCare America/Ohio Preferred Provider Network (NPPN/OPPN); Galaxy Health Network; and Fortified Provider Network.

BioTime said this week that it has completed the merger of Xennex with its LifeMap Sciences business. Xennex holds the exclusive rights to market the GeneCards and PanDaTox databases, developed at the Weizmann Institute. GeneCards is a searchable, integrated database of human genes that provides genomic, transcriptomic, genetic, proteomic, functional, and disease-related information on all known and predicted human genes.

BioTime announced separately that LifeMap Sciences has licensed from Weizmann a new database called MalaCards, which contains computerized cards classifying information related to a wide array of human diseases.

Kiyatec, a Greenville, SC-based developer of a 3D cell-based assay platform, has closed a Series A funding round. The firm declined disclose the amount raised in the round but said in a statement that the funds would be used to advance two of its 3D cell-based assays for more predictive evaluation of cancer efficacy and certain kinds of liver toxicity for drug and biologic candidates.

Advanced Biological Laboratories today said that its DeepChek and ViroScore Suite clinical genotyping solutions now have the CE-IVD Mark.

"The CE-IVD approval is in compliance with the latest European directives for medical devices, and positions DeepChek and ViroScore Suite as the first IT solutions choices to analyze comprehensive and complex data, thereby pioneering optimized personalized for the treatment of HIV," ABL CEO Chalom Sayada said in a statement.

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

The Scan

Study Examines Insights Gained by Adjunct Trio RNA Sequencing in Complex Pediatric Disease Cases

Researchers in AJHG explore the diagnostic utility of adding parent-child RNA-seq to genome sequencing in dozens of families with complex, undiagnosed genetic disease.

Clinical Genomic Lab Survey Looks at Workforce Needs

Investigators use a survey approach in Genetics in Medicine Open to assess technologist applications, retention, and workforce gaps at molecular genetics and clinical cytogenetics labs in the US.

Study Considers Gene Regulatory Features Available by Sequence-Based Modeling

Investigators in Genome Biology set sequence-based models against observational and perturbation assay data, finding distal enhancer models lag behind promoter predictions.

Genetic Testing Approach Explores Origins of Blastocyst Aneuploidy

Investigators in AJHG distinguish between aneuploidy events related to meiotic missegregation in haploid cells and those involving post-zygotic mitotic errors and mosaicism.