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In Brief This Week: Agilent Technologies, Cytek Biosciences, Veracyte, and More

NEW YORK – Agilent Technologies said this week that it has established manufacturing for its SureSelect portfolio of NGS assays at its facility in Hangzhou, China. Expanding manufacturing capabilities for SureSelect assays in China will reduce the time from initial design to customer delivery, the firm said. In addition, China-based manufacturing will provide faster development and iteration for custom panel optimization, and more rapid supply for routine sequencing applications.


Cytek Biosciences said this week that the underwriters of its previously announced initial public offering have exercised in full their option to purchase 2,184,695 additional shares of common stock at the price to the public of $17 per share. With the addition of the full exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares, the total number of shares sold in this offering was 16,749,330, and the aggregate gross proceeds to Cytek were $237 million.


Veracyte announced this week that it has completed its acquisition of HalioDx, making the firm a wholly owned subsidiary in exchange for €260 million ($306.3 million), consisting of approximately €147 million in cash and €113 million in stock.

Bonnie Anderson, Veracyte's executive chairwoman, led the acquisition and will drive the ongoing integration, including the transition of manufacturing operations to France — a move intended to maximize the combined global potential of each company’s cancer diagnostics technology platform and capabilities.


Meridian Bioscience announced this week that it has closed its $20 million acquisition of the North American BreathTek business from Otsuka America Pharmaceutical. Meridian will take over the customer relationships to supply BreathTek, a urea breath test for the detection of Helicobacter pylori. The company said in a previous statement that it expects the acquisition to add more than $20 million of annual revenue.


Todos Medical said this week that it has completed its previously announced $10 million acquisition of Provista Diagnostics by making a final payment of $1.25 million. Todos also said it has invested $2 million to upgrade the equipment in Provista's lab. Provista offers the Videssa breast cancer blood test and provides PCR-based COVID-19 testing.


MyHeritage said this week that it has agreed to acquire 90.9 percent of the share capital and 89.1 percent of the voting rights of Filae, a family history service based in France, for a total of €30.5 million ($42.4 million). The acquisition will happen through TreeHouse Junior, a parent company of the MyHeritage group. Under the terms of the agreement, MyHeritage will acquire 710,782 Filae shares at a price of €20.75 per share and 789,161 Filae shares at a price of €20 per share. MyHeritage's stake may increase later to 94.1 percent of the share capital and 92.1 percent of the voting rights if Filae cancels its 55,321 treasury shares.

Filae was founded in 1994 as NotreFamille.com and Genealogie.com and was renamed in 2016. Following the acquisition, MyHeritage will make the historical record collections housed on Filae’s site accessible to its users. Filae will remain based in Paris and continue to operate autonomously. Besides historical records, MyHeritage maintains a consumer DNA database with more than 5 million customers.


Applied DNA Sciences said this week that the City University of New York — a network of 25 colleges in New York City — has awarded a COVID-19 testing contract to the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Applied DNA Clinical Labs. The one-year contract has a maximum value of $35 million.

Applied DNA Clinical Labs will use its Linea COVID-19 Assay Kit for testing. The firm will also use its SafeCircle high-throughput, pooled COVID-19 testing program to provide weekly asymptomatic COVID-19 screening of unvaccinated students, staff, and faculty across CUNY's campuses. A random sampling of vaccinated individuals will also be tested, Applied DNA said. CUNY expects that 20,000 to 65,000 individuals will be tested over the length of the contract.


Euformatics said this week that it has received an unspecified award through the Amazon Web Services Diagnostic Development Initiative to design and deliver COVID-19 genomic variant surveillance software. The Finland-based company also announced that Synlab would be the first customer for the new software.


National Bio+Green Sciences announced this week that it has signed a strategic partnership with the Corowell Group, the manufacturer of the Corowell Rapid and Objective COVID-19 Symptom Screening Test, to distribute Corowell’s test in North America. The smell test, which has a specificity of 95 percent, is intended to screen large groups of people quickly to determine whether anyone has been exposed to COVID-19. Used with the Corowell app, which provides a screening questionnaire, it can identify candidates for additional testing via rapid antigen or PCR tests.


The US Food and Drug Administration this week revoked an Emergency Use Authorization it issued to MatMaCorp in December for its COVID-19 2SF Test. The firm requested that the EUA be revoked because it planned to stop distributing the test as of July 31.


Scope Fluidics' BacterOmic business said this week that it is partnering with Technicolor to develop a small-scale cartridge manufacturing line for the BacterOmic system, which quantitatively assesses bacterial susceptibility to a range of antibiotic resistance in a single test. The agreement also covers R&D activity for the BacterOmic platform. Technicolor Precision BioDevices, a member of the Technicolor group, will develop the manufacturing line. The pilot project will last for one year. Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Axim Biotechnology said this week that it has signed a binding term sheet with Advanced Tear Diagnostics to acquire ATD's testing technology for dry-eye disease. The companies expect to enter a definitive agreement to close the deal no later than Oct. 1. The acquisition includes two tests: One is a lateral flow point-of-care system assay with a reader that detects exact levels of lactoferrin, and the second test measures ocular immunoglobulin E. Axim said it’s optimizing the assay and expects to launch it in Q1 2022.


Quotient Limited reported this week that its fiscal 2022 first quarter revenues rose 2 percent year over year.

For the three months ended June 30, the Switzerland-based company posted total revenues of $9.1 million compared to $8.9 million in Q1 2021. Product sales from original equipment manufacturing customers slipped to $5.9 million from $6.2 million, while product sales from direct customers and distributors rose to $3.1 million from $2.6 million. MosaiQ sales dropped to $40,000 from $111,000, and other revenues grew to $48,000 from none a year ago.

Quotient had a Q1 loss of $24.4 million, or $.24 per share, compared to a net loss of $25.4 million, or $.32 per share, a year ago. Its R&D spending increased 9 percent to $12.5 million from $11.5 million, and its SG&A costs climbed 13 percent to $13.3 million from $11.8 million.

The firm ended the quarter with $114.5 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $52.1 million in short-term investments.


Genomtec said this week it has received ISO 13485 certification from TÜV Rheinland for quality management system compliance. Genomtec said the certification covers the design and development of IVD devices for detecting predetermined pathogens. The company plans to register its mobile genetic diagnostic platform in mid-2022.


Bruker said this week that its board of directors has approved a quarterly cash dividend of $.04 per share of the firm's common stock. The dividend will be paid on Sept. 17 to stockholders of record as of Sept. 1.


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

And a Fourth?

A fourth dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in an Israeli study increased antibody levels but did not prevent Omicron variant infections, according to the Financial Times.

For Better Science Software

A virtual institute funded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt's philanthropy aims to lure software engineers to academia, Science reports.

Recommendation Explanations

The New York Times writes that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is straining to both make and explain decisions based on limited information.

Genome Research Papers on De Novo Mutation Rates, Polyploid Genotyping, Oncogene Epigenomic Translocation

In Genome Research this week: de novo mutations rates in hemoglobin subunits, analysis of variant calling methods for polyploid plants, and more.