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In Brief This Week: Sigma-Aldrich; Agilent; WaferGen; ACMG; RainDance, Ambry; Clarient, HistoRx; Waters

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Sigma-Aldrich's restructuring plan, which began in the fourth quarter of 2009, has included 240 job cuts as of the end of September 2011, the firm said in its most recent quarterly filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the firm, the "exit activities" were intended to reduce its cost structure and "better align its global manufacturing and distribution footprint." Sigma-Aldrich said the cuts are "substantially complete" and "all restructuring expenses have substantially been incurred."

Agilent Technologies has entered into a five-year, $400 million unsecured credit facility with JPMorgan Chase Bank, the firm said in a filing with the SEC. Under the agreement, which expires Oct. 16, 2016, the firm may increase commitments under the facility up to $300 million in aggregate.

Investment bank Rodman & Renshaw this week dropped coverage of WaferGen Biosystems to "better allocate resources within our coverage universe." WaferGen, which makes the SmartChip real-time PCR platform, said last week that its CEO and President Alnoor Shivji had resigned from both of those positions as part of a transition to a new role as a consultant to the company. However, he will remain as chairman.

The American College of Medical Genetics will change its name to the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, effective March 2012. The association said the change "recognizes the increasingly central role of medical genomics and its importance alongside genetics in fulfilling the mission of the ACMG."

RainDance Technologies and Ambry Genetics said this week that they have collaborated to develop and launch a targeted sequencing panel to screen genes for drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion research. The new panel enables researchers to simultaneously interrogate 242 known pharmacogenomics genes using next-generation sequencing systems.

GE Healthcare's Clarient has inked a deal to provide services using HistoRx's Aqua technology at its CLIA lab. The technology will be used to provide pharmaceutical clients with protein biomarker analysis.

Waters said this week that the laboratory of Ganesh Anand at the National University of Singapore has joined its Centers of Innovation Program

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

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.