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In Brief This Week: Ginkgo Bioworks, Novacyt, Viome, and More

NEW YORK – Ginkgo Bioworks this week said it is collaborating with Quest Diagnostics to provide COVID-19 testing for grades K-12 to support in-class learning nationwide. The Boston-based firm noted that Quest can perform 300,000 COVID-19 molecular tests daily through its network of two dozen COVID-19 testing labs, while Ginkgo's Concentric by Ginkgo platform allows schools to sign up for testing, secure data management, order supplies, integrate follow-up testing regimes, and provide support services. Concentric serves about 1,000 schools across the US, and Ginkgo has similar collaborations with other labs providing COVID-19 testing including Dascena LabsOlive Labs, and CQentia.


Novacyt said this week it will donate 1 million of its COVID-19 PCR tests to UNICEF to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The donation will help the organization work with governments to fill in gaps in COVID-19 testing, Novacyt said, adding it will send its test kits to countries with a need and the infrastructure to conduct PCR-based testing. The first four countries that have expressed an interest are Nigeria, Palestine, the Maldives, and South Sudan. Novacyt received CE marking for its next-generation, high-throughput PCR test for COVID-19, COVID-HT Direct, in February.


Viome said this week that its newly developed, saliva-based oral and throat cancer detection technology has been designated a Breakthrough Device by the Food and Drug Administration. The test uses the firm's proprietary mRNA analysis technology and AI platform to detect cancer-associated signals that reflect the interaction between microbial activity and human gene expression.


Early cancer detection diagnostic company Cleveland Diagnostics announced this week that its CLIA-certified reference laboratory received laboratory accreditation from the College of American Pathologists. CAP Accreditation is awarded to labs that meet strict requirements and maintain high standards of accuracy, quality, and consistency. It includes a site inspection with examination of the lab’s records, quality control procedures for the previous two years, lab staff qualifications, equipment, facilities, safety program and record, and overall management.


Danaher announced this week that its board has approved a regular quarterly cash dividend of $.21 per share of its common stock, payable on July 30 to shareholders of record on June 25. The board also approved a quarterly cash dividend of $11.88 per share of its 4.75 percent Series A Mandatory Convertible Preferred Stock and a quarterly cash dividend of $12.50 per share of its 5 percent Series B Mandatory Convertible Preferred Stock, both payable on July 15 to shareholders of record on June 30.


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

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.