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In Brief This Week: Foundation Medicine; Exact Sciences; Eurofins Genomics; and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission this week, Foundation Medicine said it is planning to expand its offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and will take over a lease for approximately 53,455 square feet of office and laboratory space currently occupied by Bluebird Bio. The company has also extended its lease through April 30, 2024. In its SEC filing, Foundation noted that the monthly rent on the space will start at $418,308.53 in May 2017, and will go up incrementally until it reaches $833,675.37 per month in April 2024.

Exact Sciences announced this week that its Cologuard colorectal cancer test is now included in the 2017 Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) quality measures for colorectal cancer screening, published by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). More than 90 percent of healthcare insurance plans in the US measure test quality based on HEDIS, Exact noted. Cologuard's inclusion in the HEDIS measures would create incentives for health plans to adopt the test, it said.

Eurofins Genomics subsidiary Eurofins MWG Operon announced this week that it has opened a DNA sequencing lab in Toronto. This facility will provide Sanger sequencing services to researchers all over Canada. It will also provide technical support in both French and English.

Almac Group said this week that its diagnostics business unit is partnering with ArcherDx to provide Archer's FusionPlex and VariantPlex NGS assays as part of Almac's companion diagnostics product offerings. Archer has also certified Almac as an approved service provider for its NGS assays. Almac will now offer Archer FusionPlex and VariantPlex assays in its CLIA lab.

The San Diego Blood Bank and the National Blood Collaborative said this week that they have received a five-year sub-award for helping to enroll volunteers into the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program. The sub-award comes from an award that is meant to support a Participant Technologies Center through the Scripps Translational Science Institute to enroll participants in the study and develop mobile apps that can be used to track participants' health data, environmental exposures, and lifestyles. 

Medical diagnostics company Stat-Diagnostica announced this week that it has closed an extension of its Series C financing with Siemens Venture Capital. The firm did not provide details on the amount it raised in the financing round extension, but did note that the additional proceeds will be used to support the 2017 European launch of its DiagCore Near Patient Testing system, a molecular and immunoassay diagnostics system for easy and fast diagnostics.

UK-based diagnostics company Biofortuna said this week that it has successfully achieved certain milestones in the development of its new blood group genotyping product family, ReadyPlex. This achievement has released the second tranche of its 2015 funding, £1.5 million ($1.9 million), which will be used to complete the development and commercialization of the product line. ReadyPlex was developed for rapid genomic analysis of erythrocyte blood groups, human platelet antigens, human neutrophil antigens, and coagulation polymorphisms.

In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared on the GenomeWeb site.