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In Brief This Week: Pacific Biosciences, Invitae, Grail, Mainz Biomed, Molzym, More

NEW YORK – Pacific Biosciences said this week that it has amended the terms of its collaboration with Invitae on a long-read next-generation sequencing instrument for use in clinical workflows. In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange commission, PacBio said it will "continue to receive feedback, input, and insight from Invitae in connection with the intended development of its new sequencing systems; however, such feedback will not be contractually required and Invitae has no contractual right to participate in decisions regarding the development program for such new sequencing systems." 

Invitae will not be required to reimburse PacBio for development costs, and PacBio will provide credits and discounted pricing as consideration for non-refundable development costs already paid. Invitae will also be entitled to "most favored pricing" for the PacBio Sequel IIe system and certain other systems in development. 

Community Health Network and Grail said this week that they have begun a partnership offering Grail's Galleri multi-cancer early detection blood test to individuals at the Indianapolis-based healthcare system's more than 200 care sites. Primary care providers at select practices will offer the test to individuals at elevated risk for cancer, including those over the age of 50, as a complement to standard-of-care screening. 

Mainz Biomed said this week that it has enrolled the first patient in its ColoFuture study evaluating the firm's gene expression-based ColoAlert colorectal cancer home screening test. The test, which is already being commercialized across Europe, incorporates mRNA biomarkers to detect colorectal cancers and precancerous polyps based on stool samples. The ColoFuture study is enrolling participants who agree to provide stool samples in advance of colonoscopy. The goal of the study is to determine the test's sensitivity and specificity rates for colorectal cancer as compared to colonoscopy. Mainz Biomed plans to complete enrollment during the second half of this year and report study results in early 2023. 

Molzym said this week that it has received a double-digit million euro investment from a large, single family office. Further information about the investment amount and investor was not disclosed. The funding will go toward business expansion, with a particular focus on the US and China markets, the Bremen, Germany-based developer of PCR-based diagnostic kits said. Additionally, the financing will be used to launch its AutoSepT diagnostic tests for the sepsis market. The tests can attain results directly from a patient's sample within three hours. 

Twist Bioscience said this week that South Korea's Ildong Pharmaceutical has signed a licensing agreement to use a suite of Twist’s VHH antibody libraries to discover and develop antibodies for applications in immuno-oncology. Under the three-year deal, Twist will receive an upfront payment, annual maintenance fees, and additional payments for success-based clinical and regulatory milestones, as well as royalties on product sales. The deal is Twist's first collaboration with a South Korea-based company and "broadens our presence in the Asia-Pacific region," Twist CEO and Cofounder Emily Leproust said in a statement. 

Single-molecule sequencing technology firm SeqLL said late last week that it has received a notice from Nasdaq saying the company is not complying with its listing rule, since the price of its common stock was below $1.00 per share for the previous 30 consecutive business days. SeqLL now has 180 days, until Dec. 18, to regain compliance with the minimum bid price requirement. To do so, the closing price of the firm's common shares must meet or exceed $1.00 per share for at least 10 consecutive business days during that period. 

BCAL Diagnostics this week identified startup Precion as its laboratory partner as it advances efforts to commercialize a blood-based breast cancer test in the US. Sydney-based BCAL said last month that a lab in North Carolina would analyze samples based on lipid profiles of extracellular vesicles, but did not name the partner

Caris Life Sciences said this week that the Miami Cancer Institute has joined its Precision Oncology Alliance, a network of cancer centers that collaborate to advance precision oncology and biomarker-driven research. The network includes 69 cancer centers and academic institutions, which gain early access to the firm’s database and artificial intelligence platform. Members can also integrate with a growing portfolio of biomarker-directed trials sponsored by biopharma and can use Caris' CODEai database, which houses treatment information and clinical outcomes data for over 275,000 patients covering more than 1 million data points per patient. 

Exact Sciences said this week that it has entered into a new accounts receivable securitization with PNC Bank as administrative agent via a wholly owned special purpose entity called Exact Receivables. The deal, which has a maturity date of June 29, 2024, provides Exact with up to $150 million of borrowing capacity. On June 29, 2022, the firm borrowed $50 million. 

MicroGem said last week that Thomas Scientific is now offering the firm’s Sal6830 point-of-care PCR system and SARS-CoV-2 saliva test. 

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.