Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

In Brief This Week: Labcorp, Invitae, Bruker, NanoString, AstraZeneca, Cellectis, Cache DNA, More

NEW YORK – Laboratory Corporation of American and Invitae said this week that the US Bankruptcy Court has approved the sale of Invitae's assets to Labcorp. The $239 million deal announced in late April follows Invitae's petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February. The purchase was contingent on the bankruptcy court approving it and is expected to close in the third quarter. 

Bruker said this week that it has completed the asset acquisition of NanoString Technologies, a deal announced last month. Bruker expects the NanoString business to be near breakeven by 2026 with resumed revenue growth, margin improvements, and transaction synergies. “We are excited to carry forward all the NanoString product lines, which are so important for science and medical research,” Mark Munch, president of the Bruker Nano Group, said in a statement. A NanoString spokesperson said most of the company’s senior leaders, including CSO and Senior VP of Research and Development Joe Beechem and the “vast majority of the employee base,” are staying with Bruker. Meanwhile, the company has terminated NanoString President and CEO Bradley Gray and CFO Thomas Bailey, who, according to the spokesperson, “have decided to pursue new opportunities.” 

AstraZeneca this week said it has completed an equity investment agreement with French biopharma company Cellectis, and now holds about a 44 percent equity stake in Cellectis. As part of the deal, which includes a research collaboration, AstraZeneca will use Cellectis' gene-editing technologies and manufacturing capabilities to develop up to 10 cell and gene therapy products in oncology, immunology, and rare diseases. In the companies' initial announcement of the intended agreement in November, AstraZeneca said the deal included 25 genetic targets. Under the terms of the deal, Cellectis is eligible to receive an investigational new drug (IND) option fee, tiered royalties, and payments related to development, regulatory, and sales milestones. AstraZeneca retains an option for worldwide exclusive license for these candidate products, to be exercised before an IND filing. 

Cache DNA said this week that it has closed an upper-single-digit million-dollar round of seed funding. Investors included Climate Capital Bio, Exor Ventures, Hawktail, LifeX Ventures, Pillar VC, Trousdale Ventures, and Illumina. The new funding will support R&D and commercial development by the San Carlos, California-based company, which is working on infrastructure for storing biological samples and data. The firm has licensed IP from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Science Foundation in 2022. 

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority said this week that it has launched its planned phase 1 inquiry into the proposed acquisition of Olink by Thermo Fisher Scientific. The deadline for CMA's decision is July 8. The regulatory authority had said in December that it was planning to scrutinize the $3.1 billion deal, which was announced in October.

OverT Bio said this week that it has raised $16 million in seed funding. The round was co-led by Artis Ventures and Wing VC, with participation from Fusion Fund, Omx Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, Gaingels, Civilization Ventures, Hawktail, and the Cancer Research Institute. The New York City-based startup, which is developing cell therapies for solid tumors, plans to use the new funds to expand its discovery platforms. They include a pooled functional screening platform called OverTarget and a synthetic genomics platform called OverTCR for developing engineered immune cells. OverT Bio currently has 10 employees and plans to grow to 14 by the end of the year.

Danaher announced this week that its board of directors has approved a quarterly cash dividend of $.27 per share of its common stock payable on July 26 to shareholders of record on June 28. 

Co-Diagnostics reported this week that its Q1 revenues declined 22 percent to $467,854 from $601,957 in the prior-year quarter. Product revenues were $252,745 compared to $601,957 a year ago, and grant revenues were $215,109 compared to no grant revenues in Q1 2023. CoDx's net loss was $9.3 million, or $0.31 per share, compared to $5.8 million, or $0.20 per share a year ago. The Salt Lake City-based company ended the quarter with $23.1 million in cash and cash equivalents and $26.7 million in marketable investment securities. 

The Northwell Health Cancer Institute and its Center for Genomic Medicine said this week that they have opened a $3.2 million molecular diagnostics laboratory in Lake Success, New York. The 2,800-square-foot facility is equipped with next-generation sequencing technology for point-of-care tumor and patient genomic profiling to identify appropriate therapies for patients. According to Northwell, the lab will enable improved diagnosis and prognosis for cancer patients and lower costs to them and the health system. Tests offered by the lab in a phased approach include four single gene tests initially — EGFR for non-small cell lung cancer; BRAF for melanoma; KRAS for colorectal, pancreatic, and lung cancers; and BRAF/NRAS for melanoma. In the pipeline is Thermo Fisher Scientific's Oncomine Comprehensive Assay v3, a 161-gene NGS panel for solid malignancies; the Thermo Fisher Scientific Oncomine Myeloid Assay, a 45-gene NGS panel for hematologic malignancies; and MSI-H, a genetic test to evaluate how tumors respond to immunotherapy. 

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.