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In Brief This Week: Biocept, Thermo Fisher, Biodesix, More

NEW YORK – Biocept this week reported that its third quarter revenues shrunk more than threefold year over year to $5.6 million from $17.5 million in Q3 2021, primarily due to a drop in revenues from RT-PCR COVID-19 testing. Excluding this testing revenue, Biocept's Q3 revenues fell 10 percent to about $900,000 from $1 million a year ago. The San Diego-based company said that Q3 orders for its CNSide assay for detecting tumor cells in cerebrospinal fluid in patients with suspected CNS metastases increased 176 percent year over year and 8 percent sequentially. Biocept's Q3 net loss swelled to $5.5 million, or $.33 per share, from $625,000, or $.04 per share, a year ago. The company finished the quarter with $18.0 million in cash. 


Thermo Fisher Scientific this week issued €1.25 billion ($1.29 billion) worth of senior notes in a public offering. According to the company, €500 million of the notes are due in 2026 with an interest rate of 3.20 percent, and €750 million are due in 2034 with an interest rate of 3.65 percent. Thermo Fisher said interest for both notes will be paid annually. 


Biodesix said this week that it has raised $40.3 million in gross proceeds from its previously announced public offering of 35,075,000 shares of its common stock at $1.15 per share. This includes the exercise in full by the underwriter to purchase up to an additional 4,575,000 shares at $1.15 per share. William Blair was the sole bookrunning manager for the offering. 


Castle Biosciences said this week that the College of American Pathologists (CAP) has accredited its clinical laboratory facility in Pittsburgh following the necessary on-site inspection. Castle took on the Pittsburgh lab through its acquisition of Cernostics in December 2021. 


BGI Group said this week that it has signed three memorandums of understanding  with the Indonesian Ministry of Health, the University of Indonesia, and the Del Institute of Technology  in the lead-up to the G20 Summit in Bali. The memorandums of understanding cover genomics development initiatives, the construction of related laboratories, and joint research and personnel training, according to BGI. 


Malaysian Genomics Resource Center this week reported a 59 percent year-over-year decrease in revenues for its fiscal first quarter 2023. For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the firm recorded RM 3.81 million ($830,000) in revenues, down from RM 9.32 million a year ago. Earnings per share for Q1 were SEN .68 compared to SEN .20 the year before. The Petaling Jaya, Malaysia-based company said it has been refocusing its biopharmaceutical business on immunotherapy and cell therapies and pushing growth of its genetic screening business. It also seeks to acquire assets or invest in firms that will support the expansion of the genetic screening business. The firm said it is equipped with a high-throughput sequencing lab, a microarray facility, and a cGMP cell processing lab for cell therapies, including immunotherapies for various cancer types. 


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

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.

Study Reveals Potential Sex-Specific Role for Noncoding RNA in Depression

A long, noncoding RNA called FEDORA appears to be a sex-specific regulator of major depressive disorder, affecting more women, researchers report in Science Advances.

New mRNA Vaccines Offer Hope for Fighting Malaria

A George Washington University-led team has developed mRNA vaccines for malaria that appear to provide protection in mice, as they report in NPJ Vaccines.

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.