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In Brief This Week: PerkinElmer, Metanomics Health, Erasmus UMC, BGI Americas, and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – PerkinElmer disclosed earlier this month in its Form 10Q filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it paid $219.8 million for its acquisition of Cisbio Bioassays, a custom assay service provider based in Codolet, France. Cisbio develops and manufactures kits and reagents for the life sciences and diagnostics spaces. PerkinElmer announced the deal in April but did not disclose the financial terms.

PerkinElmer also said in its SEC document that it reduced its headcount by 105 employees as part of a restructuring plan in the first quarter of 2019. The reductions were implemented to realign resources as part of a growth plan. The company recorded a total of $7.5 million in restructuring and contract termination charges — $6 million in its discovery & analytical solutions segment and $1.5 million in its diagnostics segment.

German metabolomics firm Metanomics Health (MTxH), a subsidiary of Biocrates Life Sciences, said today that it has filed for bankruptcy and is exploring options for restructuring. The Berlin-based company, which has about 20 staff members, said it filed for bankruptcy on May 22. MTxH has been offering metabolomics analysis services to academic research institutes and pharmaceutical companies. Biocrates, based in Innsbruck, Austria, acquired MTxH in early 2018 for an undisclosed amount. The bankruptcy filing "facilitates the structural and the financial repositioning of MTxH" and "relieves Biocrates as the sole shareholder of MTxH," said Biocrates CEO Wulf Fischer-Knuppertz in a statement.

Erasmus University Medical Center said this week that it (Erasmus MC) has acquired an unspecified number of shares in genomics service provider GenomeScan. Both parties will also collaborate with Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), an existing GenomeScan shareholder, in molecular diagnostics and research. GenomeScan, based in the Netherlands, is an ISO-accredited genomic service provider specializing in next-generation sequencing. Through their partnership, Erasmus MC and LUMC will both be able to perform molecular diagnostics using GenomeScan's services, the company said.

BGI Americas said this week that it has opened a mass spectrometry center at its research facility in San Jose, California. The new center will give BGI customers a resource for a range of mass spectrometry services for proteomics and drug characterization, such as expertise in biologics characterization, including support for non-denaturing mass spec analysis of biomolecules, the company said. Additional mass spec services will become available throughout the year.

Todos Medical announced this week that it has exercised its exclusive option to acquire the remaining 80 percent of its joint venture Breakthrough Diagnostics from Amarantus Bioscience Holding. The transaction is expected to close upon Todos' stock being listed on a national stock exchange. Todos exercised its option after receiving and analyzing data from the University of Leipzig on its lymphocyte proliferation test, called LymPro, which demonstrated a strong correlation between LymPro and amyloid PET.

Todos and Amarantus entered into their JV in December to develop LymPro as a diagnostic test for Alzheimer's. LymPro is a blood-based test that determines the ability of peripheral blood lymphocytes and monocytes "to withstand an exogenous mitogenic stimulation that induces them to enter the cell cycle," Todos said, adding that certain diseases, including Alzheimer's, can result from compromised cellular machinery, leading to aberrant cell cycle reentry by neurons and resulting in apoptosis.

Quest Diagnostics announced this week that it is participating in the NCI-Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice clinical trial as a designated laboratory. The firm said both its Med Fusion 50Seq cancer panel and IBM Watson Genomics from Quest Diagnostics service fulfill the trial's criteria for tumor profiling. Under the terms of the collaboration, when oncologists at participating NCI-MATCH sites order tumor profiling to guide clinical care for their patients, Quest will look for trial matches for the patients. Upon the identification of a qualifying genetic alteration abnormality, Quest will notify the treating physician that the patient may be potentially eligible for NCI-MATCH and provide an official referral letter.

The Phase II trial, led by the National Cancer Institute and ECOG-ACRIN cancer research group, is evaluating the effectiveness of treatments directed by genomic profiling of patients with solid tumors, lymphomas, or myelomas that have progressed following standard treatments, or for rare cancer types for which there is no standard treatment.

Constellation Alpha Capital said this week that it executed its definitive agreement to merge with skin cancer diagnostics firm DermTech. Under the terms of the deal, initially announced in March, California-based DermTech will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Constellation in exchange for shares of Constellation common stock. DermTech's shareholders are expected to own a majority of the combined company's shares. Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed this week, but originally, the companies said that a definitive agreement is expected to contain a minimum cash closing condition of $15 million.

Resolution Biosciences announced this week that it has received a Breakthrough Device Designation from the US Food and Drug Administration for its Resolution HRD liquid biopsy assay. The firm is developing the assay as a qualitative in vitro diagnostic to identify sequence variations in genes linked to homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) for single nucleotide variants, indels, and copy number variants. Res Bio now plans to seek approval for the assay as a companion diagnostic.

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.