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In Brief This Week: Sequenom; Geneart, Life Technologies; Thermo Fisher Scientific; Spartan Bioscience; BioTime

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Sequenom this week said that it will begin a validation study of its SensiGene T21 Laboratory-Developed Test in January. The firm has received its first set of clinical samples and will conduct the study at its reference lab, the Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine.

In September, Sequenom completed an R&D "locked-assay" verification study on the assay, and last week it said that the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology had accepted for publication a manuscript that details the results of that study.

Geneart said this week that it had transferred the shares of its minority shareholders to Life Technologies' Applied Biosystems Deutschland subsidiary. The minority shareholders, which had not tendered their shares in Life Tech's acquisition of a majority stake earlier this year, will receive €14.60 ($19.07) for each share of Geneart that they hold.

Thermo Fisher Scientific has completed the acquisition of laboratory water purification systems firm TKA Wasseraufbereitungssysteme for an undisclosed consideration. The German firm had 2009 revenues of around €10 million ($13.1 million).

Spartan Bioscience said this week that its Spartan RX CYP2C19 test has received the CE IVD Mark, allowing the assay to be commercially distributed in Europe and other countries that recognize the CE Mark in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific regions.

BioTime has reached a material transfer agreement with the University of California system to make five research-grade human embryonic stem cell lines available to UC system researchers. The firm said that the cell lines are genetically identical to a bank of GMP-compliant hES cell lines made available to California researchers under a recent agreement between the firm and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

The Scan

And For Adolescents

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

Also of Concern to WHO

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization has classified the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617 as a "variant of concern."

Test for Them All

The New York Times reports on the development of combined tests for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses like influenza.

PNAS Papers on Oral Microbiome Evolution, Snake Toxins, Transcription Factor Binding

In PNAS this week: evolution of oral microbiomes among hominids, comparative genomic analysis of snake toxins, and more.