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In Brief This Week: Illumina, Invitae, MilliporeSigma, and More

NEW YORK – In a recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Illumina disclosed details of its deconsolidation of Helix. According to a form 10-Q filed July 31, Illumina amended its long-term supply and license agreements with Helix, including discounted supply terms. Illumina also noted that it absorbed 50 percent of Helix's losses for the three months ended June 30.

As part of the agreement, Helix repurchased all outstanding equity interests previously issued to Illumina in exchange for a contingent value right (CVR), a type of financial instrument that gives the seller an option to purchase additional shares if a specific event occurs. Illumina recorded this CVR at a fair value of $30 million. The CVR has a term of seven years.


Invitae this week filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission two separate Forms S-3ASR, shelf registrations covering the potential sale of securities by shareholders. The San Francisco-based genetic testing firm would not receive any proceeds from the sale of such securities.

In one filing, the firm registered nearly 1.4 million shares at a proposed maximum offering price of $24.49 per share, which was calculated based on the firm's Aug. 5 stock price and used solely for the purposes of calculating the registration fee. Among the institutional investors listed as sellers are AH Bio Fund I, SOSV III, and SOSV Accelerator Pool. All of the selling shareholders have a stake below 1 percent in Invitae.

The firm also registered nearly 2.5 million shares at the same maximum offering price. Among the institutional investors listed as sellers are Casdin Partners Master Fund, which currently holds a 3.9 percent stake in Invitae, but would reduce its holdings to 2.9 percent if it sells the 899,936 shares listed in the filing. None of the other funds or individuals listed as sellers hold a stake of 1 percent or greater in Invitae.


MilliporeSigma said this week that it has acquired BSSN Software, a laboratory informatics company based in Darmstadt, Germany. BSSN's employees have joined MilliporeSigma as part of its applied digital lab productivity solutions team. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition will allow MilliporeSigma's customers to better use and share their scientific data, the company said, adding that it acquired BSSN primarily for its lab data management and integration software, which unifies data from instruments and data systems and makes them available for analyzing, processing, and sharing.


Navigator Genomics this week announced its intention to initiate a Regulation A+ initial public offering for both accredited and non-accredited investors. NGT offers patients, doctors, and consumers that use or prescribe medical cannabis tests for measuring genetic responses to report on which cannabinoids and prescription drugs will work best for them, and which cannabinoids interact with prescription medicines. The company said it will work with Robert Merrill Fletcher, the founder of The Canna Unicorns, a cannabis-focused investment banking firm, to launch the IPO.


Cancer diagnostics firm Celcuity this week said that its net loss for the second quarter narrowed to $1.7 million, or $.17 per share, from $1.8 million, or $.18 per share, a year ago. The Minneapolis-based firm reported no revenues, the same as in Q2 2018.

Its R&D costs were relatively flat year over year at $1.5 million, while its general and administrative costs were trimmed 3 percent to $371,988 from $382,646.

Celcuity finished the quarter with $14.9 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Celcuity is a cellular analysis firm developing diagnostics to improve the clinical outcomes of patients being treated with targeted therapies. Its CELx platform uses a patient's living tumor cells to identify abnormal cellular activity driving the patient's cancer and the most appropriate therapy.


Curetis announced this week that its wholly-owned subsidiary Ares Genetics GmbH has opened a specialized service laboratory offering next-generation molecular antimicrobial resistance (AMR) testing services, with an initial focus on infection control, AMR epidemiology and surveillance, clinical research, and pharmaceutical anti-infectives R&D. The newly opened lab is located at the Vienna Biocenter Campus in Vienna, Austria, and will serve researchers, hospitals, public health institutions, and pharmaceutical companies, Curetis said.


Adaptive Biotechnologies announced this week that it has signed a 12-year lease with Alexandria Real Estate Equities for a 100,000-square-foot building in Seattle. The building will serve to expand the company's lab capacity, R&D footprint, and office space, Adaptive said. Adaptive expects the building — which will be part of Alexandria's Eastlake Life Science Campus in the Lake Union neighborhood and close to the immune sequencing firm's current headquarters — to be completed in 2020, and plans to move in by 2021.


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.