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In Brief This Week: MDxHealth, Agilent Technologies, IsoPlexis, IntegraGen, More

NEW YORK – MDxHealth said this week that it expects preliminary 2022 revenues of about $37 million, which would be a 66 percent increase from $22.2 million in 2021. The company also expects a year-end cash balance of $15.5 million and reaffirmed its 2023 revenue guidance of between $65 million and $70 million. 


Agilent Technologies said this week its board of directors had authorized the repurchase of up to $2 billion worth of shares of the company's common stock beginning March 1. In a statement, Agilent CFO Bob McMahon said the repurchase program is a key element of the firm's strategy of balanced capital deployment that delivers growth and strong returns for shareholders. The firm said the program may be suspended or discontinued at any time. 


IsoPlexis this week reported preliminary full year 2022 revenues in the range of $16.6 million to $16.8 million, down roughly 3 percent to 4 percent from $17.3 million in 2021. The Branford, Connecticut-based single cell proteomics company attributed the decline to lower than expected fourth quarter revenues stemming from the timing of customer orders and lower consumables sales. 


IntegraGen this week reported €12.6 million ($13.6 million) in revenues for 2022, a 16 percent increase over 2021. The OncoDNA subsidiary, based in Evry, France, provides human genome sequencing and analysis services for academic and private laboratories and develops diagnostic tools for oncology. As of Dec. 31, the firm had €4.5 million in cash. 


Mars Petcare said this week that it is partnering with the Broad Institute to create a large-scale, open-access database of cat and dog genomes. Over the next 10 years, the collaborators plan to sequence the genomes of 10,000 dogs and 10,000 cats that are enrolled in the Mars Petcare Biobank study. The company plans to connect the sequencing data to the biobank, including health and lifestyle data, to find new ways to prevent or predict a wide range of conditions in pets. The genome sequencing and variant data will be made publicly available through the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Sequence Read Archive. The first genome data are anticipated to become available this year, and Mars Petcare scientists plan to publish initial results in 2023 and beyond. Elinor Karlsson, director of the vertebrate genomics group at the Broad Institute and a professor of bioinformatics and integrative biology at the UMass Chan Medical School, will spearhead the sequencing and analysis. 


DermTech said this week that the Defense Health Agency's Lab Joint Working Group has recommended that the foundational assay included in the DermTech Melanoma Test (DMT) be covered by TRICARE. The recommendation makes the assay available to the healthcare program's 9 million members and beneficiaries of the military health system. According to La Jolla, California-based DermTech, DMT enhances melanoma detection with a better than 99 percent negative predictive value. It added that DermTech now has about 113 million total covered lives in the US. 


San Diego-based microbiome-based liquid biopsy firm Micronoma said this week that its OncobiotaLung assay has received breakthrough device designation from the US Food and Drug Administration. The test can categorize lung nodules into high risk or low risk of malignancy with a simple blood draw. 


Isohelix, a UK-based biological sample collection company, announced this week that it has filed a 510(k) pre-submission with the US Food and Drug Administration for its GeneFix saliva collectors. The collection devices are nonhazardous and stabilize both DNA and RNA over extended periods at room temperature, according to Isohelix, providing high-quality samples for molecular diagnostics in point-of-care settings and for over-the-counter, direct-to-consumer genetic testing. 


Malaysian Genomics Resource Center this week announced a two-year strategic collaboration with SIRIM, a company owned by the Malaysian government, to explore the commercialization of joint genomics-driven research and development projects in medicine and biotechnology. The projects include the development of biofuels and pharmaceuticals, companion diagnostic tests for cancer treatments, and bioactive cosmeceuticals. 


Next Gen Diagnostics (NGD) said this week that it has formed a subsidiary, NGD Israel, to offer low-cost pathogen sequencing, transmission detection, and sequence-based infectious disease diagnostics in that country. The new offshoot will have a centrally located pathogen sequencing laboratory to provide rapid services to customers across Israel. Services will include extraction, library preparation, sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis. NGD is based in the US and has another subsidiary in Cambridge, UK. 


Nest Genomics this week announced that B Capital led its previously disclosed $8.5 million seed funding round. Also participating were Y Combinator, Casdin Capital, DCVC, Samsung Next, Maven Ventures, iAngels, Arkin Digital Health, LionBird, 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki, former UnitedHealth Group executive Deneen Vojta, and other, unspecified investors. 


Epigenetics company VolitionRx said this week that it is making its Nu.Q Vet Cancer test available in the US through the Idexx Laboratories reference laboratory network under a supply agreement signed last October. The blood test, called Idexx Nu.Q Canine Cancer Screen, uses Volition's nucleosomics technology to detect cancer in dogs. 


Telesis Bio this week announced preliminary financial results for the fourth quarter. For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2022, Telesis Bio expects revenue of $9.0 million, tripling from Q4 2021’s $3.0 million. Total operating expenses for the fourth quarter were estimated to be between $14.0 million and $15.0 million, compared to $13 million in Q4 2021. The company expects to end the quarter with $41.0 million in cash and cash equivalents. Telesis Bio also announced the achievement of its first technical milestone with Pfizer for its enzymatic DNA synthesis technology to be used in mRNA-based vaccines and biotherapies. 


Thermo Fisher Scientific this week became the founding sponsor for Momentum Labs, a new biotech hub in Alachua, Florida. Located in the greater Gainesville region, Momentum Labs “provides critical infrastructure and business development resources to support the growth of life sciences in Florida, giving the ecosystem the opportunity to retain companies rather than losing them to other communities,” Abhinav Akhoury, Thermo Fisher VP of corporate accounts, said in a statement. 


Zef Scientific and Fasmatech announced a new partnership to provide a full range of ion association-dissociation techniques through Fasmatech's Omnitrap platform to owners of Thermo Fisher Scientific Exploris 480 LCMS systems. The agreement covers sales, marketing, and all service aspects in North America, the companies said. The Omnitrap platform connects to the Exploris 480 LCMS instrument in series with the HCD cell, enabling ion activation techniques including slow heating CID, ECD, EID, and photo-dissociation. Key applications include top-down proteomics, proteoform and post-translation modification analysis, structural biology, native mass spectrometry, and glycan sequencing, the companies said.


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

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.

Genome-Wide Analysis Sheds Light on Genetics of ADHD

A genome-wide association study meta-analysis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder appearing in Nature Genetics links 76 genes to risk of having the disorder.

MicroRNA Cotargeting Linked to Lupus

A mouse-based study appearing in BMC Biology implicates two microRNAs with overlapping target sites in lupus.

Enzyme Involved in Lipid Metabolism Linked to Mutational Signatures

In Nature Genetics, a Wellcome Sanger Institute-led team found that APOBEC1 may contribute to the development of the SBS2 and SBS13 mutational signatures in the small intestine.