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In Brief This Week: Thermo Fisher Scientific; Corning; Life Technologies; Affymetrix; Saladax; Epistem; MLSC

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Thermo Fisher Scientific this week said that its board of directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.13 per share. It's payable on Oct. 15, to shareholders of record as of Sept. 17.

Corning has opened a new life sciences lab in Palo Alto, Calif., in its existing Corning West Technology Center. The lab will provide customers and researchers with onsite expertise in using the firm's technologies for cell-based, biochemical, and molecular biology assays.

JP Morgan this week downgraded the stocks of Life Technologies and Affymetrix. It downgraded Life Tech to Neutral from Overweight and lowered its share price target to $46 from $52. It lowered Affy's stock to Underweight from Neutral.

Saladax Biomedical has achieved CE Mark registration for its MyPaclitaxel and MyDocetaxel therapeutic dose management assays. The tests, which can now be commercialized in Europe, provide patient-specific chemotherapy dose optimization.

Epistem has received the CE-IVD Mark for its molecular diagnostic test for tuberculosis. The test runs on the firm's point-of-care GeneDrive device.

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center has launched its 2012-2013 Accelerator Loan Program, which provides working capital for early-stage life sciences companies. The program loans up to $1 million to each company. Since its launch in 2009, the program has awarded $11.2 million in loans to 20 companies. Among the firms that have received funding is Good Start Genetics, which is using next-generation sequencing technology to develop tests for all American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics recommended disorders.

A new open-access journal called Microbiome has been launched by BioMed Central. The new journal, which focuses on microbiome research, is edited by Jacques Ravel, from the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Institute for Genome Sciences, and Eric Wommack, from the University of Delaware.

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

The Scan

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.

Survey Sees Genetic Literacy on the Rise, Though Further Education Needed

Survey participants appear to have higher genetic familiarity, knowledge, and skills compared to 2013, though 'room for improvement' remains, an AJHG paper finds.

Study Reveals Molecular, Clinical Features in Colorectal Cancer Cases Involving Multiple Primary Tumors

Researchers compare mismatch repair, microsatellite instability, and tumor mutation burden patterns in synchronous multiple- or single primary colorectal cancers.

FarGen Phase One Sequences Exomes of Nearly 500 From Faroe Islands

The analysis in the European Journal of Human Genetics finds few rare variants and limited geographic structure among Faroese individuals.