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In Brief This Week: Illumina, Quest, Exosome Diagnostics, and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Illumina said this week that it has opened a commercial and customer training center in France. Its Solutions Center, which is located within a biocluster hub near Paris called Genopole Campus, will provide education and training in genomics technologies for up to 1,000 scientists per year. The center will also host Illumina's first commercial office in Europe and will provide scientists with access to Illumina's entire network of facilities.

Quest Diagnostics' board this week declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.45 per share, payable on Jan. 24, 2018 to shareholders of record on Jan. 9, 2018.

Exosome Diagnostics said this week that the national Medicare reimbursement price for its ExoDx Prostate IntelliScore (EPI) test has been set by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at $760. The test has been added to the 2018 Clinical Laboratory Fee schedule, effective Jan. 1, 2018, the firm added. EPI is a urine-based test that looks for three exosomal RNA biomarkers expressed in men with high-grade prostate cancer to help in the biopsy decision-making process.

In order to show the utility of its low-coverage whole genome sequencing assay, which it uses as a replacement for genotyping microarrays, Gencove said this week that it will fund a project in which it will sequence up to 300 samples at low coverage (around 0.2x coverage of a human genome) for free, a total value of $18,000 value. Applicants must have either 300 samples ready to be sequenced or a clear plan for how to get them. The firm will evaluate proposals based on their scientific fit to the technology, and the broader utility of the data and/or software produced. The deadline to submit proposals is Jan. 16. Entrants can apply here

Premaitha Health said this week that it has signed an agreement with a new laboratory partner to offer a NIPT screening solution in a new East Asian territory for Premaitha. The company did not name the partner or the territory, but said the partner is a private reference laboratory, which will provide the NIPT screening solution to its network of hospitals and clinics in the region. The installation of the laboratory is set to be completed in H1 2018. Premaitha also said this week that it has signed partnerships with four new laboratories in the Middle East to offer its Iona NIPT test in that region. Two of the laboratories will be installed before the end of 2017 and the other two will become operational in Q1 2018.  

Gradientech said this week that it has received ISO 13485 certification, demonstrating an implemented quality management system that ensures high quality and consistent design, development, manufacturing, support, and sale of microfluidic-based products for the determination of cell responses to concentration gradients and that are safe for their intended purpose. The firm said the certification is an important step towards its goal of CE-marking its in vitro diagnostic system, QuickMICTM, for ultra-rapid antibiotic susceptibility testing.

Pillar Biosciences said this week that it received ISO 13485:2016 certification for design, development, manufacture, and distribution of products for the clinical oncology laboratory within a comprehensive quality management system. The firm said that the first Pillar assay produced under this QMS is the recently-launched ONCO/REVEAL BRCA 1/2 panel targeting the coding region of the BRCA genes. All current products are based on Pillar's patented SLIMamp targeted sequencing technology platform and proprietary PiVAT analytics software. It noted that while current products are for research use only, Pillar intends to file selected targeted NGS panels with proven clinical utility for regulatory approval.

RowAnalytics announced this week that that it has opened a US office in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Its local teams will work on initiatives in business, marketing, research, informatics, and artificial intelligence development. The move enables the firm to recruit talent and more easily collaborate with life science organizations to advance efforts in personalized medicine, RowAnalytics said. Informatics and artificial intelligence experts will be onsite to assist customers who are analyzing populations in biomarker discovery, genome-wide association, drug repurposing, and patient stratification studies.

BaseClear said this week it has launched nanopore sequencing as a service, and that it is the first service provider to complete the Oxford Nanopore certification process, which enables it to provide nanopore sequencing as a service. BaseClear will process samples using Oxford's GridIon.

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.