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In Brief This Week: Invitae, Thermo Fisher, PerkinElmer, More

NEW YORK – Invitae said this week that it completed its previously announced acquisition of Clear Genetics on Nov. 12 for approximately $50 million, about half of which was paid in cash and half in Invitae common stock. The company is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Invitae.

Invitae also said this week that it has launched Invitae Discover, a clinical research platform that leverages biometric data available through Apple Watch to provide better understanding of the genetic causes of disease. The company also initiated the first study on Invitae Discover, called Afib CAUSE (Correlations between atrial fibrillation and cardiomyopathy phenotypes and variants of uncertain significance in cardiac-related genes). The goal of the study is to combine health and activity data from mobile devices with clinical genetic testing results to improve the understanding of how genetic changes contribute to atrial fibrillation and other cardiovascular conditions, Inviate said. The study will specifically evaluate biometric data for patients whose genetic testing included variants of uncertain significance to help build preliminary data that improves variant classification and, ultimately, provide evidence to support resolution, the firm said.

Thermo Fisher Scientific said this week that it has opened a Pharma and Biopharma Customer Solution Center in Shanghai to support customers in China. The new center will provide expertise in analytical processes and specialized workflows. It follows the company's recent opening of a Biosciences Customer Exploration Center in Shanghai and its expansion of a clinical trials logistics facility in Suzhou.

Belgian research institute VIB and Chinese genomics organization BGI said this week that they have partnered to share expertise to accelerate the use of genomics in healthcare, agriculture, and other fields. Under the strategic collaboration, the partners will establish joint research programs and co-develop applications of single-cell sequencing, health monitoring omics, and other technologies.

In its Form 10Q filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission this week, PerkinElmer said that it has laid off 259 employees as part of a restructuring plan in the third quarter of 2019. The workforce reduction is expected to result in a total of $13.8 million in charges, approximately $11.2 million in the discovery & analytical solutions segment and $2.6 million in the diagnostics segment, according to the document. In an email, a PerkinElmer spokesman said that the firm identified "a number of minor redundancies through a recent initiative to bring the organization together by aligning our regional commercial teams and end market-focused business segments." He added that the positions "were not concentrated in any particular region, business or function."

The company also said that during the first three quarters of 2019, it completed three acquisitions for a total of $258.4 million in cash. The Waltham, Massachusetts-based company bought Cisbio Bioassays for $219.9 million. Additionally, it disclosed in its SEC document that it acquired two other unnamed businesses for a total of $38.5 million.

Co-Diagnostics this week reported a fourfold year-over-year increase in its third quarter revenues. 

For the three months ended Sept. 30, the Salt Lake City-based molecular diagnostics firm's revenues ticked up to $41,434 million, up from $9,696 million a year ago, it said in its Form 10-Q filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Co-Diagnostics said that in the recently completed quarter, it saw continued sales of its vector control mosquito tests as it expanded into different US markets, and generated revenues in its infectious disease vertical and genomic design services for the ag-bio industry. 

The company further noted that it installed a large molecular diagnostics laboratory in Ghana, maintained a strong financial position, and remained debt-free during the quarter. The company also anticipates a significant increase in infectious disease testing sales in Q4 in India, as well as other geographical markets. 

The company's R&D spending increased a fraction of 1 percent year over year to $331,027 from $330,422. Its SG&A costs stayed essentially flat at $1.3 million. 

The firm posted a net loss of $1.7 million, or $.10 per share, in Q3 2019 compared to a net loss of $1.6 million, or $.13 per share, a year ago. The company used 17.3 million shares to calculate its per share loss in Q3 2019 compared to 12.3 million shares a year ago. 

Co-Diagnostics exited Q3 2019 with $2.5 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Mesa Laboratories announced this week that it has acquired Gyros Protein Technologies Holding for $180 million. GPT is an Uppsala, Sweden-based provider of immunoassay and peptide synthesis solutions that accelerate the discovery, development, and manufacturing of biotherapeutics.

The acquisition will add to Mesa's biopharmaceutical quality control business, and will become the core of Mesa's new biopharmaceutical development platform. The deal is also expected to add $37 million to $40 million of revenues during the first 12 months, deliver double-digit organic revenue growth over the next several years, and generate gross profit margin percentages in the mid to high 60s. Additionally, Mesa expects adjusted operating income as a percentage of revenues to be in the mid-teens for the first 12 months. Revenues for the remaining five months of FY20 are expected to be $13 million to $15 million.

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.