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In Brief This Week: Thermo Fisher Scientific, SpeeDx, Cofactor Genomics, and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Thermo Fisher Scientific and Roper Technologies said this week that they have mutually terminated an agreement under which Thermo Fisher would have acquired Gatan, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Roper. Under the agreement, announced by the companies a year ago, Thermo Fisher would have acquired Gatan for approximately $925 million in cash. The deal was expected to close by the end of 2018.

SpeeDx said this week that the US Food and Drug Administration has granted Breakthrough Device designation for its ResistancePlus GC molecular test, which could expedite its path toward regulatory clearance. ResistancePlus GC provides ciprofloxacin susceptibility and resistance information to effectively treat N.gonorrhea, the firm said. It detects both N. gonorrhea and sequences in the gyrA gene of the bacteria associated with susceptibility or resistance to ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic treatment for sexually transmitted infections. The firm said that results from the test can be used to guide treatment decisions for gonorrhea infections, giving doctors and patients the option of using ciprofloxacin instead of ceftriaxone.

Cofactor Genomics announced this week that it has joined the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) Biomarkers Consortium, with the goal of advancing the adoption of multidimensional biomarkers in cancer and immune-related diseases. The FNIH Biomarkers Consortium was launched in 2006. In addition to the FNIH, founding members include the NIH, the FDA, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the CMS, and BIO.

Cofactor said it will contribute its ImmunoPrism assay in order to help the consortium advance its research in inflammation, immunity, and cancer. Cofactor’s technical teams will participate in the consortium and offer expertise in ImmunoPrism reagents and services to achieve advanced profiling of immune response.

BC Platforms announced this week that the German biobank Interdisciplinary Center for Biobanking-Lübeck (ICB-L) will join the company's global network of biobanks. As part of the collaboration, BC Platforms provides its platform to academic and industry researchers to enable them to efficiently browse and analyze harmonized data for scientific research and drug development. ICB-L, the first German biobank to join this network, will provide access to summary level data of more than 60,000 subjects with clinical and/or research data.

Abbott this week declared a quarterly dividend of $.32 per share, payable on Aug. 15 to shareholders of record on July 15.

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

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.