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In Brief This Week: BGI, Illumina, Pacific Biosciences, Oxford Nanopore, Co-Diagnostics, More

NEW YORK – BGI said this week that it has been granted a partial stay of a preliminary injunction issued in two patent infringement cases brought against it by Illumina.

Judge William Orrick of the US District Court for the Northern District of California granted BGI the partial stay while the firm appeals the scope of the injunction. BGI filed an appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on July 15. The order will permit BGI's internal, noncommercial use of sequencers that do not use reagents that the court determined likely infringe Illumina's patents. Orrick also wrote that he will soon permit development activities relating to BGI's CoolMPS technologies that "stop short of any commercialization."

BGI said it would be able to use library preparation kits that had been enjoined by the original order, but which do not allegedly infringe Illumina's patents.


Pacific Biosciences this week appealed a jury verdict that invalidated four of its patents.

In a filing with the US District Court for the District of Delaware, PacBio notified the court that it was appealing "the Court's final judgment in this action, and from all other opinions, rulings, and orders adverse to PacBio" to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

PacBio had sued Oxford Nanopore Technologies in 2017, alleging infringement of four patents. In March, a jury found that Oxford Nanopore had infringed three of them, but also determined that all four patents were invalid.


Co-Diagnostics this week said its second-quarter revenues skyrocketed to $24 million, up from $61,574 in Q2 2019. The molecular diagnostics company posted net income for Q2 of $12.6 million, or $.43 per share, compared to a loss of $1.3 million, or $.08 per share, in Q2 2019. Its Q2 R&D expenses rose 140 percent year over year to $750,249 from $312,590, and its sales, marketing, general, and administrative expenses climbed 136 percent year over year to $2.6 million from $1.1 million.

During Q2, CoSara Diagnostics, the firm's India joint venture, received authorization from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) in India to manufacture and sell COVID-19 tests. Co-Diagnostics noted it received US Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization for a COVID-19 test kit in April.

As of June 30, the Salt Lake City, Utah-based company had $18.6 million in cash and cash equivalents.


Quanterix said this week that it closed its previously announced underwritten public offering of 3,048,774 shares of its common stock at an offering price of $32 per share, including 397,666 shares sold in accordance with the full exercise of the underwriters' option to purchase additional shares.

Gross proceeds from the sale of the shares were approximately $97.6 million. SVB Leerink and Cowen acted as joint bookrunning managers for the offering. Canaccord Genuity acted as co-manager for the offering.


Todos Medical said this week it has reached a deal with an unnamed South Korean manufacturer to distribute its 10-minute, rapid point-of-care antigen test and 40-minute, rapid POC PCR-based test for SARS-CoV-2. The tests have been approved by regulators in South Korea, and Todos will help the company obtain Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration, Todos said.

The rapid antigen test runs on a proprietary fluorescent immunoassay system and has demonstrated sensitivity of 86.49 percent and specificity of 97.87 percent. The rapid PCR test runs on a proprietary POC PCR platform and has shown 100 percent sensitivity and specificity, according to Todos.


Yourgene said this week that its Iona Nx NIPT workflow has been approved by Australia's Therapeutics Goods Association as a medical device Class 3. The approval will allow Southern Cross Diagnostics, Yourgene's Australian distributor, to begin selling the test in that country.

Australia is the first major market outside of the UK or the European Union to have granted approval to the Iona Nx, following the CE-IVD approval it received on June 15, Yourgene said. The Iona Nx is an in vitro nucleic acid screening test that measures the likelihood that a pregnant woman is carrying a fetus with trisomy 13, 18, or 21. It runs on the Illumina NextSeq 550Dx instrument.


Arcadis said this week that it has partnered with the New York State Department of Health and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation for a pilot project to identify and track SARS-CoV-2 in municipal wastewater collection systems in Onondoga County, Albany, Newburgh, and Buffalo.

Highlands Ranch, Colorado-based Arcadis will identify and monitor the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater, alerting the state and participating cities to prepare for the virus' potential spread and to inform critical reopening decisions. The project, for which the state is providing $500,000 in funding, is a collaborative effort with Syracuse University, Quadrant Biosciences, SUNY ESF, and Upstate Medical University.


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

Panel Votes for COVID-19 Pill

A US Food and Drug Administration panel has voted to support the emergency use authorization of an antiviral pill for COVID-19 from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, CNN says.

But Not Harm

New Scientist reports that UK bioethicists say that though gene editing may improve food production, it should not harm livestock welfare.

Effectiveness Drop Anticipated

Moderna's Stéphane Bancel predicts that that current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may be less effective against the Omicron variant, the Financial Times reports.

Cell Studies of Human Chromatin Accessibility, SARS-CoV-2 Variants, Cell Signaling Networks

In Cell this week: chromatin accessibility maps of adult human tissues, modeling to track SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, and more.