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In Brief This Week: PacBio, AACR, Devyser, T2 Biosystems, AgriPlex Genomics, MolGen, VolitionRx

NEW YORK – Pacific Biosciences this week entered a privately negotiated exchange agreement with a holder of the company’s outstanding 1.50 percent convertible senior notes due 2028, pursuant to which PacBio will issue $441 million principal amount of its 1.375 percent convertible senior notes due 2030, in exchange for $441 million principal amount of the 2028 notes. PacBio said the exchange transaction is expected to close on or about June 30, subject to customary closing conditions. 

The American Association for Cancer Research said this week that it has selected four new institutions to join its Project GENIE consortium to contribute clinical and genomic data to its public database. The new members are Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Korea University Anam Hospital, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans, and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami School of Medicine. The next release, GENIE 14.0-public, will be available in July 2023 and will contain more than 183,000 sequenced samples from over 161,000 patients, one of the largest public cancer genomic data sets to date. 

Devyser has opened a CLIA-certified laboratory in Atlanta. It will offer clinical test services for hereditary diseases, oncology, and post-transplant monitoring. The lab will scale as demand grows, Devyser said, and will initially focus on clinical testing services for healthcare providers and patients in the US. The firm is currently working on reimbursement for each of the tests provided.

T2 Biosystems said this week that it was notified by the Nasdaq on June 20 that the closing price of its shares had fallen below the required minimum bid price of $.10 per share for continued listing on the exchange. In a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the firm said it also has a hearing scheduled for July 6 on an appeal filed by the company in response to a May 23 notice from the Nasdaq that the firm had failed to regain compliance in the past six months with the required $35 million minimum value of listed securities. The firm said it will present a plan to regain compliance with both requirements, including a potential reverse stock split. 

Genotyping service provider AgriPlex Genomics and nucleic acid extraction technology firm MolGen have opened a joint lab in Veenendaal, Netherlands, to better service European customers. The new lab will combine AgriPlex's targeted genotyping-by-sequencing custom library preparation and analysis with MolGen's DNA extraction and automation to provide services to plant and animal breeders in Europe, the companies said this week. 

VolitionRx said this week that the underwriters of its $16.5 million public offering, announced earlier this month, have exercised their option to purchase an additional 1.95 million shares to cover over allotments. The option brings the total gross proceeds to $19.0 million before underwriting commissions and other offering expenses. The offering closed on June 23. The company said it plans to use the proceeds for research and continued product development, clinical studies, product commercialization, working capital, and other general corporate purposes. 

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

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.