NEW YORK – Centogene said this week that it has completed the formation of a joint venture with Lifera, a biopharma company wholly owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF). The deal was originally announced in June. The JV, to be located in Riyadh and named Lifera Omics, aims to increase access to genomic and multiomic testing to patients in Saudi Arabia and countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Under the terms of the agreement, Lifera will own 80 percent and Centogene 20 percent of the JV. According to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Centogene also granted the JV an exclusive license to certain know-how, patents, and data in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Centogene is eligible to earn performance-related milestone payments, including a $10 million upfront JV milestone payment and low-single-digit royalties on the JV's net revenues starting on the sixth anniversary of the JV until 2033. Both companies will be represented on the board of Lifera Omics, and two Lifera representatives will join Centogene's supervisory board. As previously reported, Lifera also made a $30 million investment in Centogene in the form of a convertible loan, which will automatically convert into common stock no more than six months from Oct. 26, 2023.
ARUP Laboratories issued a public comment this week on the US Food and Drug Administration's proposed rule for regulation of laboratory-developed tests, urging the agency to withdraw the rule. In its comment, the lab said it believes the rule uses flawed estimates regarding the number of LDTs ordered and their performance and also challenged the agency's authority to regulate these tests. It said the rule would negatively impact patient care and reduce access to testing.
Oxford Nanopore Technologies this week announced a partnership with Portuguese DNA analysis company WeNou to develop and commercialize a nanopore sequencing-based food authenticity test. As part of the collaboration, the companies said they aim to develop a rapid and cost-effective assay using the Oxford Nanopore platform to identify multiple species present in different food sample types, including unprocessed, highly processed, or complex.
Trajan Scientific and Medical and GenTegra said this week that they signed an agreement for Trajan to distribute GenTegra's GenTegraRNA-NEO solution to help maintain RNA integrity during research by treating the absorbent tips of Neoteryx's Mitra blood microsampling instruments before they are used for blood sample collection. Melbourne, Australia-based Trajan and Pleasanton, California-based GenTegra said the treated devices are designed to aid RNA recovery from remote cohorts during research and molecular studies using finger-stick blood collection in a home or clinic.
Eremid Genomic Services this week said it has received accreditation from the College of American Pathologists, complementing its November 2022 CLIA certification. Kannapolis, North Carolina-based Eremid offers a broad range of sequencing technologies, including Illumina short-read sequencing and the latest long-read sequencing systems from Pacific Biosciences and Oxford Nanopore Technologies.
Twinsburg, Ohio-based pharmacogenomic testing firm Xact Laboratories this week said it is partnering with an unnamed national prescription claims clearinghouse to offer a new PGx service to health insurers. With the new offering, PGx test results are automatically integrated into the prescription fulfillment workflow, so that clinicians and pharmacists treating members of participating health plans can be notified if a patient has actionable PGx results that might impact their prescription.
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.