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In Brief This Week: Lab21; Vermillion; Thermo Fisher; Ambry, Fluidigm; New England Biolabs; Ezose Sciences, Sigma-Tau

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – UK-based Lab21 this week said that it has inked an agreement with "one of the world's leading diagnostic businesses" to develop, manufacture, and distribute a molecular diagnostic product for the detection of Aspergillus to run on the partner's real time PCR platform. Neither the name of the partner nor financial details of the agreement were disclosed.

Vermillion this week disclosed in a regulatory filing that it has dismissed PricewaterhouseCoopers as its independent public accounting firm. Vermillion noted in the filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that PwC's audit reports for fiscal years 2010 and 2011 "did not contain any adverse opinion or disclaimer of opinion." However, its audit report accompanying Vermillion's 2011 results "included an explanatory paragraph noting that there was substantial doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern."

Vermillion also noted that its audit committee has approved the engagement of BDO USA as the firm's new independent registered public accounting firm.

Thermo Fisher Scientific has opened a new demonstration lab and training center in Seoul, South Korea. The 1,800-square-foot facility will give customers hands-on access to Thermo Fisher's analytical instruments, such as its new Scientific Q mass spectrometry and Dionex ion chromatography systems, as well as other equipment and consumables.

Ambry Genetics has begun offering genomic services using Fluidigm's BioMark HD and Access Array systems. Those services include gene expression, SNP genotyping, and sample preparation for targeted sequencing using next-generation sequencers.

New England Biolabs said this week that it has been granted ISO 13485:2003 certification for its design, development, and distribution of molecular biology and related reagents.

Ezose Sciences said that it has signed a new agreement with Italy's Sigma-Tau Industrie Farmaceutiche Riunite to provide its glycomics capabilities for Sigma-Tau's drug research. The firms have previously collaborated on R&D programs.

In Brief This Week is a Friday column containing news items that our readers may have missed during the week.