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In Brief This Week: PerkinElmer; Sequenom; Lab21; Trovagene; NuGen Technologies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – PerkinElmer this week said that its board of directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $.07 per share payable on Aug. 10, to all shareholders of record at the close of business on July 20.

Following a survey of maternal fetal medicine specialists, ob-gyns, and other clinicians, investment bank William Blair & Co. said this week that uptake of Sequenom's MaterniT21 Plus test could be more rapid than previously anticipated. Analyst Brian Weinstein wrote in a note earlier this week that based on a survey of 113 individuals in the field, it believes more than 25,000 MaterniT21 Plus tests could be performed during the second quarter, topping the investment firm's volume estimate of 15,400.

Sequenom previously said that as of the last week in April, the 52-week run rate for the MaterniT21 Plus test had increased to more than 45,000 tests.

Lab21 said this week that it has partnered with an unnamed pharmaceutical company to develop a new companion diagnostic assay for the detection of specific mutations in colorectal cancer samples to help select patients for a therapeutic monoclonal antibody. Lab21 said that it will use its SPARQ PCR technology in developing the assay.

Trovagene has been added to the Russell Microcap Index as of the close of the market on June 22.

NuGen Technologies has launched its 2012 Genomics Grant Challenge. It is accepting proposals until Aug. 15, and will notify the winner on Sep. 14. The award recipient will receive up to $10,000 worth of reagents for next-generation sequencing studies.

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

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.