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In Brief This Week: NIH, Hologic, PerkinElmer, and More

NEW YORK – The National Institutes of Health said this week that the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) program for Parkinson's disease has launched a data portal to provide researchers with de-identified information collected from 4,298 Parkinson's patients and healthy controls. The portal can be used to develop therapies for the disease, study complex data sets, and perform genome-wide analyses at a large scale.

AMP for Parkinson's is a public-private partnership between the NIH, the US Food and Drug Administration, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Celgene, GSK, Pfizer, Sanofi, and Verily, and is managed through the Foundation of the National Institutes of Health. The AMP PD Knowledge Portal contains data from cerebrospinal fluid, RNA, plasma, and DNA samples, and provides a platform that can incorporate additional data sources and new types of data, including proteomics.

Hologic has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Cynosure medical aesthetics business to an affiliate of investment funds managed by Clayton, Dubilier, & Rice for a total purchase price of $205 million in cash, subject to certain closing adjustments. Hologic expects net cash proceeds of approximately $138 million from the deal. Hologic said the divestiture will enable it to focus on its products for early detection of disease.

The company also said it intends to enter into an accelerated share repurchase program to buy back $205 million of its common stock. The stock repurchase is in addition to an existing repurchase program, under which $211 million remained as of Sept. 28.

PerkinElmer business Tulip Diagnostics announced recently that it has acquired Biosense Technologies, a Mumbai, India-based developer of point-of-care in vitro diagnostic solutions. Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed. Biosense has 120 employees. It was founded in 2008 and offers POC solutions for screening, diagnosing, and managing chronic diseases in India. The founders of the company, Yogesh Patil and current CEO Abhishek Sen, as well as the rest of Biosense's management team will remain with the company and run the day-to-day operations.

Qiagen announced this week that it has extended a license agreement with Laboratory Corporation of America for Qiagen's Human Gene Mutation Database of human genetic mutations. The deal will continue the partners' seven-year relationship to develop, introduce, and support new diagnostic tests. LabCorp will use the database, which Qiagen said is the world's largest database of inherited disease mutations, to improve identification and interpretation of genetic variants within inherited diseases. Terms of the extended deal were not disclosed.

The University of Buffalo said last week that it has launched the UB Biorepository, a new facility of its Clinical and Translational Research Center. The biorepository, which is funded by UB and New York State, has the capacity to store millions of biological specimens. It is part of the Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics (BIG), which connects life science companies to experts and facilities at UB.

Anixa Biosciences announced this week that the Idaho Urologic Institute will provide patient samples for Anixa's ongoing prostate cancer study, including support of clinical validation of the company's Cchek Prostate Cancer Confirmation test. Lisa Parillo will be the principal investigator for the study at IUI. Cchek measures a patient's immunological response to a malignancy by analyzing immune system cells in peripheral blood. It is being developed for the early detection of cancer. Anixa said recently that it plans to launch Cchek by early 2020.

Medix Biochemica announced this week that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all shares of Lee Biosolutions, a provider of high-quality biomaterials for the in vitro diagnostics industry. The deal will expand Medix's portfolio of antibodies and antigens with a complementary portfolio of biomaterials. Lee Biosolutions manufactures proteins, enzymes, antigens, and biologicals for use as quality controls and calibrators in the IVD market. Financial and other terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Agilent said this week that it has increased its quarterly dividend to $.18 per share of common stock, reflecting a 10 percent increase over the previous quarter's dividend. The firm will pay the dividend on Jan. 22, 2020 to all shareholders of record as of the close of business by the end of 2019.

Quest Diagnostics this week said its board has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.53 per share, payable on Jan. 29, 2020 to shareholders of record on Jan. 4, 2020.

Oxford Gene Technology said this week that its new facility in Cambridge, UK has received Medical Device Single Audit Program certification for its quality management system. The firm said the certification will allow it to enter the molecular diagnostics space following the clearance by the US Food and Drug Administration of eight of its Cytocell Aquarius Hematology fluorescence in situ hybridization probes. The certification from Lloyd's Register is for full MDSAP scope, which is based on ISO: 13485:2016 and additional country-specific requirements from regulators in the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and Japan.

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.