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In Brief This Week: Biocept, Agilent Technologies, Cellsway, Omega Genetik, GenScript Biotech, More

NEW YORK – Biocept carried out a 1-for-30 reverse stock split this week, and its shares began trading on a split-adjusted basis on the Nasdaq on May 17. Shareholders of the company's stock authorized the stock split last week. The company also disclosed in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission this week that its stockholder equity as of March 31 was $2.4 million, short of the $2.5 million minimum needed to remain listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market. As a result, Biocept said it anticipated being notified by the exchange on or about May 15 of its noncompliance. The company will have 45 calendar days after receipt of the notice to submit a plan to regain compliance, and if the plan is accepted, Nasdaq may grant it up to 180 calendar days from the day of the notice to provide evidence of compliance. 

Agilent Technologies said this week that its board of directors has approved a quarterly dividend of $.23 per share of common stock. The dividend is payable July 26 to all shareholders of record at the close of business July 3. 

Liquid biopsy firm Cellsway and genetics lab Omega Genetik said this week that they have entered into a partnership and commercialization agreement to provide cancer management solutions to patients and healthcare professionals throughout Turkey. Under the agreement, Omega Genetik will use Cellsway's circulating tumor cell isolation technology to analyze tumor-associated gene expression for noninvasive monitoring and treatment personalization. Financial terms were not disclosed. 

GenScript Biotech said this week that it has expanded its primary manufacturing facility for oligonucleotide and peptide production in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, China. The facility, which has ISO 13485 certification, offers DNA and RNA oligos for qPCR, next-gen sequencing, RNAi, genome editing, and other applications. It also provides peptide synthesis using the firm's PepPower platform. 

Beijing Xisike Clinical Oncology Research (CSCO) Foundation, Ping An Health Insurance Company (PAH), and OrigiMed Shanghai this week said they're working together to develop "an innovative ecosystem" to enable precision medicine access to cancer patients in China. Under the terms of the agreement, the three organizations will collaboratively advance a "full-cycle medical service for insured Chinese patients," in which PAH will provide coverage of OrigiMed's genetic testing, online molecular tumor board, clinical trial recruitment, and follow-on e-hospital services. CSCO Foundation's professional oncologist network will provide patients with online personalized diagnosis and treatment services. In a statement, Jin Li, chairman of CSCO Foundation, said the collaboration promises to not only improve outcomes for cancer patients in China but also help build a real-world database for the China Cancer Genomic Atlas. 

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.