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In Brief This Week: Sequenom; Iverson Genetic Diagnostics; Eppendorf; Ariadne; Vermont Genetics Legislation

By a GenomeWeb Staff Reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Sequenom this week said that it has awarded non-qualified stock option grants for a total of 74,450 shares of common stock to six new employees under the firm's New Hire Equity Incentive Plan. The firm said 14,450 of the shares have an exercise price of $6.14, which was equal to the closing price of Sequenom's common stock on Feb. 28, and 60,000 shares have a price of $6.39, the closing price of its common stock on Feb. 15, the dates the options were granted.

Iverson Genetic Diagnostics has launched an 18-month study to assess the utility of genetic testing in determining the proper warfarin dose for individual patients. Data from the study will be used by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to help determine whether to provide insurance reimbursement for a genetic warfarin test. The Bothell, Wash.-based firm announced last summer that it had received CMS approval to conduct the study, which is anticipated to involve more than 7,000 participants at more than 50 sites across the country.

Eppendorf said this week that the Genome Center at Washington University has purchased 10 of the firm's epMotion 5075 TMX PC systems for sample preparation needs on the Illumina GAIIx and HiSeq platforms. The firm did not disclose financial details of the bulk order.

Ariadne said today that the National Cancer Institute has renewed its license for site-wide use of the firm's Pathway Studio Enterprise system that includes the ResNet Mammalian database and Ariadne MedScan text processing technology.

Vermont has become the third state this year to introduce genetic privacy legislation. The state follows efforts in California and Massachusetts to enhance protections on and privacy of individual genetic information beyond that provided by the national Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 and protections already established in part by the state's courts.

"The three bills are not carbon copies of one another, but they do reflect a belief that certain values are universal," Steve May, executive director of the Forum on Genetic Equity, said in a statement this week. "Chief among these is the idea that individuals need to be able to exert control and make decisions about their own genetic information, genetic material and genetic privacy."

The Vermont bill can be found here.

The Scan

Two J&J Doses

Johnson & Johnson says two doses of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provides increased protection against symptomatic COVID-19, CNN reports.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Response in Kids

The Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a lower-dose format appears to generate an immune response among children, according to the Washington Post.

Chicken Changes to Prevent Disease

The Guardian writes that researchers are looking at gene editing chickens to help prevent future pandemics.

PNAS Papers on Siberian Dog Ancestry, Insect Reproduction, Hippocampal Neurogenesis

In PNAS this week: ancestry and admixture among Siberian dogs, hormone role in fruit fly reproduction, and more.