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In Brief This Week: OpGen, MDxHealth, Dante Genomics, More

NEW YORK – OpGen this week announced its preliminary Q3 financial results, reporting that revenues for the quarter declined 67 percent to $400,000 from $1.2 million in 2021. The decline in revenues was the result of the completion of a project with the New York State Department of Health in Q3 last year, as well as lower than expected sales of its Ares sequencing services, the firm said in a statement. The preliminary results don’t include the potential impact from a collaboration agreement with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics or sales of its Acuitas test, the company noted. As of Sept. 30, the firm had $10.3 million in cash. It closed a financing transaction as the quarter ended, and as of Oct. 3, the company had $13.3 million in cash, OpGen said. 

MDxHealth said this week that its revenues for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 more than doubled year over year to $11.2 million from $5.4 million a year ago. Excluding the Oncotype DX GPS prostate cancer testing business it acquired in August from Exact Sciences, Q3 revenues increased 42 percent year over year to $7.8 million. The company recorded a Q3 net loss of $8.6 million, or $.05 per share, compared to a net loss of $7.6 million, or $.06 per share a year ago. The company ended the quarter with $27.4 million in cash and cash equivalents. The firm said its revenue guidance for the full year remains between $40 million and $42 million, a figure that includes revenues from Oncotype DX GPS prostate cancer testing. 

Dante Genomics said this week that it has created a separate drug discovery and development company called Genomic Biopharma. The spinoff, which received initial funding and resources from Dante, has a number of programs for developing drugs and therapies for infectious and rare diseases, based on findings from Dante's database of whole genomes. Its core technology, GBI AI, uses predictive algorithms and genomic data mining to help identify novel RNA-based therapeutics. 

LexaGene said this week that it has entered into a secured convertible note agreement with Meridian LGH in the aggregate principal amount of up to $1.6 million. The note bears 12 percent interest per year and matures on March 1, 2023. The interest rate rises to 16 percent if the company defaults. The outstanding principal of the note is convertible into common shares of LexaGene at a conversion price of $.17, and interest on the note will be convertible at the market price of the shares at the time the interest is due. LexaGene may prepay the note and any accrued interest at any time without penalty. If the firm receives an equity financing of at least $5 million, merges with another company, or sells its assets, Meridian may accelerate the maturity date of the note, which will be secured against LexaGene's assets and guaranteed by its subsidiaries. 

Bioinformatics company Genoox said this week that Thermo Fisher Scientific has upgraded its Applied Biosystems Chromosome Analysis Suite (ChAS) software to enable users to access Genoox's cloud-based AI platform, Franklin. The resulting "CytoScan AIR (Automated Interpretation and Reporting)" streamlines and automates interpretation and reporting by combining the features of ChAS and Franklin, thus facilitating and significantly speeding up cytogenetic research data analysis, Palo Alto, California-based Genoox said. 

Applied DNA Sciences said this week that it plans to establish a new manufacturing facility in Suffolk County, New York, for the enzymatic production of DNA for use in genetic medicines. The firm said it is in discussions with New York State, local municipalities, and private entities about funding opportunities to help bear the costs of the expansion. The new facility is scheduled to open in the second half of 2023 and will have a DNA production capacity of 50 grams per month, double the firm's current monthly capacity. 

DNALabs said this week that the US Securities and Exchange Commission has qualified its first public stock offering. The "Mini IPO," under Regulation A of the JOBS Act, allows anyone in the general public to invest in the Canadian genetic testing company with a minimum investment of $900, based on a share price of $9.00 per share and a minimum investment of 100 shares. 

Caris Life Sciences said this week that Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center has joined its Precision Oncology Alliance. The growing network includes 73 cancer centers and academic institutions. 

Australian molecular diagnostics firm Genetic Technologies said this week that its fiscal 2023 first quarter revenues rose 375 percent year over year, to A$1.9 million (US$1.2 million). Revenues came from its three brands, GeneType, EasyDNA, and AffinityDNA. As of Sept. 30, the company had a cash balance of A$8.0 million. 

Novacyt said this week that its Winterplex 3G real-time PCR assay for SARS-CoV-2, influenzas A and B, and respiratory syncytial virus has been approved for sale in the UK under the Health Security Agency's Medical Devices regulations, which require that antigen-based and molecular COVID-19 tests undergo desktop reviews to be sold in the UK. The high-throughput multiplex test uses oropharyngeal, nasopharyngeal, or sputum samples. 

Tempus this week announced a program called Tempus+, a program for collaborative precision cancer research based on real-world data. Tempus+ essentially is a network of centers of excellence that gives participating institutions access to a collection of more than 5 million de-identified records through the company's Lens data and analytics platform. Initial members of Tempus+ include Allegany Health Network, Baylor College of Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Stanford Cancer Center, TriHealth, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, and University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

Fortis Life Sciences, a Waltham, Massachusetts-based life science research and manufacturing tools company, said this week that it has expanded its international footprint with a new office in Seoul, South Korea. South Korea's pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and life science industry has become one of the most comprehensive markets in Asia-Pacific, with increased demand from within and outside the region, Fortis noted. As such, this strategic milestone bolsters the company's commitment to serving the Asian marketplace. 

MGI Tech this week opened its first overseas customer experience center (CEC) in Riga, Latvia. Located inside MGI Latvia, the company’s manufacturing center for businesses in Europe and Africa, the customer experience center functions as a service hub for customers. In addition to running demo tests, CEC Riga offers validation for third-party product compatibility while doubling as a training center for MGI staff and distributors, the company said. CEC Riga currently is equipped with MGI sequencers, such as DNBSeq-G50, DNBSeq-G400, DNBSeq-T7, and DNBSeq-T10x4, as well as automation platforms. 

Synlab and Microba Life Sciences, a company specializing in the analysis of complex gut microbiomes, have expanded their strategic agreement to broaden geographic and market availability of Microba's microbiome test myBIOME in Europe and Latin America. Building on success in the Spanish and Colombian markets and the growing demand for personalized precision diagnostics, the test will be rolled out for further distribution via healthcare providers as well as direct-to-consumer channels, the companies said. The myBIOME test uses next-generation sequencing to analyze all genetic material in a stool sample to identify a wide range of microorganisms present and deliver personalized analyses and nutritional recommendations to customers. 

Thermo Fisher Scientific said this week that its PPD clinical research business plans to invest $59 million to expand its laboratory operations in Highland Heights, Kentucky, which currently provide biopharma customers with laboratory services to accelerate the development of drugs, including vaccines and cell and gene therapy products. The new facility will comprise 114,000 square feet and be completed by the end of 2024. 

PerkinElmer declared a regular quarterly dividend of $.07 per share of its common stock this week. The dividend will be payable on Feb. 10 to all shareholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 20. 

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.