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In Brief This Week: Precipio, LunaDNA, NRGene, and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission this week, Precipio said it had amended and restated an earlier securities purchase agreement with investors. The amendment enables it to issue up to $1.3 million of additional notes with applicable warrants on substantially the same terms and conditions as the notes and warrants granted in connection with the prior securities purchase agreement. Investors can purchase the additional notes and warrants until Dec. 31, the firm said. Investors who participated in the previous subscription and new investors, including two members of the firm's board of directors, subscribed to the additional notes.

The closing of the extended transaction would provide Precipio with an aggregate principal of $1.3 million, the firm said in the SEC filing.

In the same filing, the firm noted that it also signed a letter of agreement with two of its directors to reprice the total number of 652,723 warrants that were issued to them at $.50 per share.

Precipio disclosed in April that it had entered into the earlier securities purchase agreement, which enabled it to issue up to about $3.2 million in senior secured convertible promissory notes, bearing an interest rate of 8 percent annually and an original issue discount of 9 percent.


LunaDNA said this week it has gained approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission to recognize personal health data, including genomes, as a form of currency. The firm has opened its technology platform to US residents wishing to contribute their medical and DNA data in exchange for shares in the community-owned platform.


NRGene announced this week that its multiyear licensing agreement with Bayer for the use of its GenoMagic cloud-based big data analytics platform has been expanded. Bayer said it will now use the platform to support molecular breeding programs for multiple crops within its crop science division. The licensing agreement was originally signed by Monsanto prior to its acquisition by Bayer — Bayer has now completed a one year evaluation of the GenoMagic platform to test its ability in comparing genetic makeup and selecting the best candidates for molecular breeding.


OpGen said this week that it has received approval from the Instituto Nacional de Vigilancia de Medicamentos y Alimentos (INVIMA) — Colombia's regulatory authority for food, drugs, and medical devices — to market its rapid pathogen identification products in the country. The firm's QuickFISH product, which is already cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration, identifies pathogens in 20 minutes in positive blood culture. The approval in Colombia follows a study using QuickFISH conducted by researchers at Universidad El Bosque, the Bacteria Resistance and Hospital Epidemiology, Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Medicas, and four Colombian acute care hospitals. OpGen said the results demonstrated a 57 percent improvement in survival rate and reductions in antibiotic usage for patients tested with the rapid diagnostic test.


Danaher's board this week approved a quarterly dividend of $.16 per share, payable on Jan. 15, 2019 to shareholders of record on Dec. 28, 2018.


GenoPalate, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based genetics-based nutrition company, announced this week that it has secured investor commitments of nearly $1.4 million to help scale operations and expand its customer base. Founded in 2016, GenoPalate uses customer DNA to help determine a personalized nutrition profile. Specifically, GenoPalate's test analyzes saliva for 104 SNPs that the company claims determine a person's specific needs for 26 vital nutrients such as carbohydrates, vitamin D, and sodium.


Genedrive said this week that its Genedrive HCV-ID test is being used in an international multi-center trial called REACH sponsored by drug developer AbbVie. The trial aims to assess the impact of hepatitis C virus diagnostics and therapy in a pharmacy setting versus conventional treatment pathways. Genedrive's test will be used in one of two arms of the randomized trial to test patients for HCV infection and assess virological response following treatment over the course of 12 weeks. John Dillon, professor of hepatology and gastroenterology at the University of Dundee, is leading the trial, which will cover up to 40 pharmacies across three sites in Scotland, Wales, and Australia.


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.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.