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In Brief This Week: Caribou Biosciences, AnchorDx, Neogen, Microbiome Insights, More

NEW YORK – Caribou Biosciences made its initial public offering of 19 million shares of common stock this week, at a price of $16.00 per share. The gross proceeds of the upsized offering, before deducting underwriting discounts, commissions, and other expenses, are expected to be $304 million. The CRISPR genome editing biopharma firm had originally planned for a $100 million IPO. Caribou has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 2,850,000 shares. Bank of America Securities, Citigroup, and SVB Leerink acted as joint bookrunning managers for the offering. In Friday morning trading on the Nasdaq, shares with the ticker symbol CRBU opened at $20.33. The offering is expected to close on or about July 27.


AnchorDx said this week that its UriFind test was awarded breakthrough device designation by the US Food and Drug Administration. The test uses DNA methylation detection technology in urine for the early detection of bladder cancer. According to Guangzhou, China-based AnchorDX, UriFind is as good as cytoscopy and better than exfoliative cytology and fluorescence in situ hybridization for detecting early and non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.


Neogen said this week that its revenues in fiscal Q4 increased 17 percent to $127.4 million from $109.1 million in the year-ago quarter. The company's food safety segment booked $64.1 million in revenues for the quarter, up 18 percent from $54.3 million a year ago, with strong sales from the recently launched Soleris Next Generation rapid microbial testing solution. Animal safety testing reported $63.3 million in revenues for the quarter, up 16 percent from $54.8 million a year ago. Neogen's genomics business, which comes from both the food safety and animal safety segments, reported a revenue increase of 21 percent in fiscal Q4, driven by continued strength in companion animal testing services in the US and Australia and in a new bovine and porcine business in China.


Microbiome Insights said this week that it has received accreditation from the College of American Pathologists. The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company provides microbiome sequencing and bioinformatic analysis. It works with pharma, biotech, nutrition, cosmetic, and agriculture companies as well as with academic and government research institutions and has supported over 600 microbiome studies from basic research to commercial R&D and clinical trials.


PavMed said this week that its subsidiary Lucid Diagnostics has partnered with UpScriptHealth. Under the deal, UpScript will provide a Lucid-branded, web-based telemedicine platform to support Lucid's upcoming EsoGuard telemedicine program. The platform is for patients with chronic heartburn symptoms to request a video evaluation by a physician and a referral for testing with Lucid's EsoGuard Esophageal DNA Test, if necessary. EsoGuard is a next-generation sequencing-based DNA methylation test performed on esophageal cells. Used in conjunction with Lucid's EsoCheck Cell Collection Device, it can detect esophageal precancer in at-risk gastroesophageal reflux disease patients. Lucid is launching a network of test centers, initially in the Phoenix area, where patients can undergo EsoGuard testing. Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed. 


HTG Molecular Diagnostics said this week that it has created a new business unit, HTG Therapeutics, that will use the HTG EdgeSeq platform to develop early-stage drug candidatesThe new unit is a result of the development of HTG's nearly 20,000-gene mRNA panel, the HTG Transcriptome Panel, that the company expects to commercially release in August and is currently testing with early-access users. HTG said it will use the panel to profile RNA modifications early in the drug discovery process to help generate lead compounds faster and with superior efficacy and toxicity profiles. It will initially focus on identifying development candidates targeting RNA or RNA-modifying proteins, which could be relevant in areas such as oncology, immunology, transplant medicine, diabetes, and rare diseases.


Nigerian health tech company 54gene said this week that it is creating a trust to invest up to 5 percent of future proceeds from its commercial drug discovery program into better diagnostics and medicines for Africans and building scientific research spaces across the continent. The trust, which is part of the company's "commitment to Africa" program, will be managed by an advisory committee. 


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

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.