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In Brief This Week: Meridian Bioscience, SQI Diagnostics, Applied DNA, Abbott, Danaher, More

NEW YORK – Meridian Bioscience this week reported its fiscal Q1 financial results in a 10-Q document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Revenues for the quarter were $56.9 million, down 36 percent from $88.3 million in the same quarter of 2022. Diagnostics segment revenues increased 19 percent to $39.4 million from $33.2 million in the previous quarter, while life sciences revenues declined 68 percent to $17.6 million. The firm reported a net loss of $29.8 million, or $.68 per share, compared to a profit of $15.3 million, or $.35 per share, in Q1 2022. Meridian ended the quarter with $74.1 million in cash and cash equivalents. SD Biosensor and SJL Partners’ acquisition of Meridian was completed last month. 

SQI Diagnostics last week posted an 800 percent increase in revenue in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, bringing in $8.1 million in fiscal year 2022, up from $900,000 in the fiscal year prior. The firm posted a loss of $18.5 million for the year, or $.05 per share, compared to a loss of $10.5 million, or $.03 per share, the prior fiscal year. The firm attributed the rise in revenue to its acquisition of Precision Biomonitoring's PCR testing business during Q2 2022. SQI CEO Andrew Morris said in a statement the firm transitioned last year from an R&D organization to a commercial company. 

SQI also reported results for Q4 2022, when it had sales of $1.2 million, up from $100,000 in the year-ago quarter. The firm posted a loss of $7.8 million, or $.02 per share, for the quarter, compared to a loss of $2.8 million, or $.01 per share, in the prior-year quarter. The firm ended the quarter and year with $1.3 million in cash and cash equivalents. 

Applied DNA this week reported a 26 percent year-over-year increase in fiscal year 2023 first quarter revenues. Revenues for the quarter ended Dec. 31 jumped to $5.3 million, which included $4.5 million in COVID-19 testing revenue, compared to $4.2 million in the prior-year period, which included $3.2 million of COVID-testing revenue. The DNA synthesis and analysis firm's net loss for the quarter totaled $3.8 million, or $.30 per share, compared to a net loss of $4.7 million, or $.63 per share, in fiscal Q1 2022. As of Dec. 31, the Stony Brook, New York-based company had $12.9 million in cash and cash equivalents. 

Applied DNA also said this week that it has received an award of up to $1.5 million from New York State's Empire State Development agency for qualifying new job creation. The company plans to use the award, which comes in the form of refundable employee tax credits claimed over a benefit period of up to 10 years, to develop and establish enzymatic production capacity of cGMP linearDNA on Long Island for the manufacture of genetic medicines.

Abbott said this week that it will acquire medical device company Cardiovascular Systems for approximately $890 million. Cardiovascular Systems offers an atherectomy system to treat peripheral and coronary artery disease and is developing complementary vascular intervention devices. The deal is expected to be neutral to Abbott’s previously announced 2023 earnings per share guidance, the firm said in a statement. JP Morgan Securities is serving as financial adviser to Cardiovascular Systems. 

Danaher said this week that the spinoff of its environmental and applied solutions business will be named Veralto. The company will include water quality and product identification subsidiaries Hach, ChemTreat, Trojan, OTT HydroMet, McCrometer, Videojet, Esko, X-Rite Pantone, and Linx. The headquarters will be established in Waltham, Massachusetts, and it is expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol VLTO, Danaher said in a statement. The spinoff was announced last September and is expected to be completed in Q4 2023. 

Ultima Genomics and 10x Genomics said this week that they are collaborating to integrate 10x's Chromium single-cell applications with Ultima's sequencing platform. Ultima is joining 10x's Compatible Partner Program, which already includes other sequencing companies such as Illumina, Pacific Biosciences, Element Biosciences, and Oxford Nanopore Technologies, to provide customers with workflows for gene expression analysis in single cells and to validate Chromium assays on Ultima's sequencers. 

Element Biosciences and Bio-Rad Laboratories said this week that they are partnering to demonstrate the use of the Bio-Rad Sequoia RNA Sequencing Library Preparation portfolio with the Element Aviti benchtop sequencer. Element's Avidity sequencing chemistry can be adapted for use with the Bio-Rad Sequoia Complete and the Sequoia Express Stranded RNA Library Prep Kits to obtain accuracy and repeatability among samples and different RNA inputs. 

Pillar Biosciences said this week that it has received accreditation from the College of American Pathologists (CAP) for its CLIA-certified reference lab. Natick, Massachusetts-based Pillar offers next-generation sequencing-based assays to assist with tumor profiling, therapy selection, and recurrence monitoring for cancer patients. Pillar CEO Randy Pritchard noted that CAP accreditation is an "important milestone in our company's mission to collaborate with biopharma to develop enabling technologies for cutting-edge therapies and deliver NGS solutions that drive actionable, accessible results to everyone, everywhere." 

ProtonDx said this week that its Dragonfly Respiratory Panel has been validated and approved for use in the UK under the UK Health Security Agency's Medical Devices (Coronavirus Test Device Approvals) Regulations 2021. The test is a rapid, point-of-care molecular test that identifies influenza A/B, respiratory syncytial virus, human rhinovirus, and SARS-CoV-2 in less than 30 minutes, the company said. The test was CE-IVD marked last year. 

The Rockefeller Foundation said recently that the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms has launched the National Diagnostics Catapult in New Delhi (C-CAMP InDx 2.0). The program, which is anchored by C-CAMP, seeks to boost India's preparedness for current and future pandemics. C-CAMP InDx 2.0 builds on Indigenization of Diagnostics (CCAMP-InDx), an India-wide COVID-19 diagnostics platform launched in July 2020, which has achieved more than 1 million indigenous RT-PCR kits for SARS-CoV-2 per day while building the capacity of more than 200 indigenous ministry of micro, small, and medium enterprises and academic labs in India. 

BioMark Diagnostics said this week that its subsidiary BioMark Diagnostic Solutions has received up to C$185,900 (US$138,606) in funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP), which the firm will put toward researching and developing a liquid biopsy-based assay to measure drug metabolites for cancer treatment monitoring. BioMark also said it is receiving an additional C$13,275 (US$9,898) from Global Affairs Canada under the CanExport Innovation Program. 

Molecular diagnostics firm AusDiagnostics said last week that it inked a deal to manufacture OrthoDx-branded SynvIchor products to differentiate between infection and inflammation in orthopedics. The Australian firms said that, under the deal, AusDiagnostics will make the products for worldwide supply under an original equipment manufacturing agreement. Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed. 

DermTech said this week that the foundational assay of its DermTech Melanoma Test is now available to more than 9 million clients of the Veterans Health Administration because of a favorable coverage recommendation by the US General Services Administration. The California-based diagnostic firm's assay is used to check skin lesions, moles, and dark skin spots for melanoma. The RT-PCR assay identifies expression of the LINC00518 and PRAME genes, and it can include an add-on sequencing-based assay to identify the presence of TERT promotor mutations. The firm said its testing platform detects melanoma with a greater than 99 percent negative predictive value. 

Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) said this week that it has launched a research network, called Collab Network, around the use of IDT's products for genomics applications. Members of the network to date include Catalytic Data Science, Complete Genomics, Element Biosciences, Geneseeq Technology, Helix, MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory, Novogene, Opentrons Robotics, PerkinElmer, Psomagen, Singular Genomics, Sistemas Genomicos, Ultima Genomics, and individual researchers from industry and academia. Among other benefits, academic members receive early access and beta testing opportunities for IDT's products and assistance with developing new protocols. Industry partners, among other things, can engage in cross-promotion of their products with IDT and in product development and content creation for applications and methods. 

German biological material manufacturer Bioweg and Ginkgo Bioworks said this week that they are collaborating to optimize the production of bacterial cellulose and to produce novel variants of cellulose with improved performance. The goal is to develop biodegradable substitutes for widely used synthetic polymers used in cosmetics, agriculture, and food and to reduce microplastics pollution. The partners will use Ginkgo's strain engineering and screening capabilities in their efforts. 

NGeneBio said this week that it has launched a next-generation sequencing-based breast cancer diagnostic service in Thailand through MP Group, a consignment inspection agency and distributor of medical devices. The lab is offering NGeneBio's BRCaccuTest Plus to hospitals, government-affiliated medical institutions, health centers, and the general public. 

CytoRecovery said this week that the National Science Foundation has awarded it a $952,558 Phase II SBIR Research Grant for a project titled "Bioelectrical Cell Enrichment, Sorting, and Recovery with On-Chip Sample Prep and Monitoring." The goal is to develop new features for the company's CytoR2 platform for advanced cell sorting. The work will be conducted in the laboratories of Rafael Davalos at Virginia Tech, Nathan Swami at the University of Virginia, and the CytoRecovery Laboratory in Blacksburg, Virginia, under the direction of Alex Hyler. The funding will be used to advance features, progress software, and develop new technologies for marker-free cell sorting. 

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. 

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