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In Brief This Week: Exact Sciences, Signature Science, Yourgene Health, and More

NEW YORK – Exact Sciences and Pfizer said this week that they've agreed to extend and amend their agreement to promote Exact's colorectal cancer screening test Cologuard. Under the terms of the nationwide agreement, Pfizer will continue to provide marketing and related support for Cologuard and join Exact's efforts to educate patients, physicians, and health systems about Cologuard. Pfizer will also provide sales and marketing support through the end of 2022 and health system support through the end of 2021. Exact will compensate Pfizer based on the amount of services provided, along with additional fixed and performance-related fees.

Under the terms of the original copromotion agreement, which was signed in August 2018, Pfizer joined Exact's sales representatives in reaching out to physicians and health systems and participated in the Cologuard marketing campaign in an attempt to increase the test's adoption rate.

Signature Science said this week that it has been awarded a one-year contract for an undisclosed amount from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) of the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence for early-stage research that will establish a laboratory model of viral evolution for pandemic viruses using synthetic biology techniques. Under the terms of the contract, Austin, Texas-based Signature will use its RAVEN (Rapid Attenuated Virus Evolution) lab method to model the potential evolutionary pathways of individual SARS-CoV-2 genes by identifying sequence variants that lead to increased infectivity or allow the virus to evade immune system response. Identifying these mutations will enable Signature to produce a catalog of viral variants of concern to compare to emerging epidemiological data, the company said.

Yourgene Health said this week that it has signed a five-year strategic partnership with an unnamed Japanese company. Under the terms of the technology transfer agreement, Yourgene is providing its Flex Analysis Software bioinformatics platform and associated expertise to the partner, which will use it to offer in-house bioinformatic analysis and clinical screening services to the Japanese market for a reproductive health application. Yourgene expects to obtain more than $2.5 million in total from the partnership over the course of the contract.

Separately, Yourgene said this week that it has been awarded a contract by St. George's NHS Trust Foundation to provide noninvasive prenatal testing using its Iona Nx NIPT workflow. The contract — which began in 2015 when Yourgene provided its Iona test under St. George's Safe Test brand — extends Yourgene's existing partnership with St. George's for another three years. Under the terms of the new contract, St. George will transition to the new Iona workflow, which runs on Illumina sequencing instrumentation.

Danaher announced this week that it will redeem all of the €800 million ($944 million) aggregate principal amount of 1.7 percent senior notes due in 2022 issued by DH Europe Finance S.À R.L., at a redemption price equal to the outstanding principal amount, as well as a make-whole premium, plus accrued and unpaid interest. The redemption date is Nov. 5. Danaher said it will fund the redemption using some of the proceeds from its recent offering of senior notes.

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.