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In Brief This Week: Exact Sciences; CombiMatrix; Thermo Fisher; XDx; Exiqon; Diagenode; DNA Diagnostics Center

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Exact Sciences disclosed in its quarterly earnings document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it made a $250,000 milestone payment to the Mayo Clinic in June as the company began enrolling patients for its clinical trial for its Cologuard colorectal cancer diagnostic in preparation of a submission to the US Food and Drug Administration. The payment is related to patents from Mayo that Exact Sciences licensed for use on the test. Exact Sciences also will pay Mayo royalties of at least $10,000 in 2012 and at least $25,000 per year afterward through 2029, the year that the last patent it licensed expires. The company added that upon FDA approval of Cologuard, it will pay Mayo $500,000.

CombiMatrix this week filed a registration with the SEC to offer almost $91.8 million in stock. The filing is for a "shelf" registration, and a spokesman for the company said that it "does not imply that the company is actively selling to sell stock or will do so any time soon. It merely allows the sale of registered stock at some point in the future if the company decides to do so and if the registration is still in force."

Thermo Fisher Scientific issued $1 billion aggregate principal amount of 2.250 percent senior notes due 2016 and $1.1 billion aggregate principal amount of 3.6 percent senior notes due 2021 in a public offering. The issuance was announced last week to partially fund its $3.5 billion acquisition of Phadia.

XDx has received a coverage decision on its AlloMap gene expression test by Blue Shield of California, which determined that the test is "medically necessary" for monitoring heart transplant rejection more than one year after the transplant. About 65 percent of the US heart transplant population is now covered by AlloMap, which was launched in 2005, cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2008, and CE marked in 2011.

Exiqon appointed the Oncogenomics Core Facility at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine as its first Center of Excellence in North America. The COE will offer real-time PCR services based on the Exiqon miRCURY LNA Universal RT MicroRNA PCR product line.

Diagenode said that the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and the BioMicro Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have fully automated ChIP and methylation assays on Diagenode's SX-8G IP-Star automation platform. Scientists at the BioMicro Center tested the platform under normal laboratory working conditions and in addition to validating it, MIT researchers used the system as a quality control for screening new antibodies for ChIP-seq experiments.

DNA Diagnostics Center, a provider of DNA paternity and other DNA tests, today announced it has licensed its DDC Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test to Gene Security Network. The test, is the first non-invasive prenatal paternity test using single-nucleotide polymorphism microarray technology, and requires a blood draw form the mother and alleged father. Terms were not disclosed.

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