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In Brief This Week: Prenetics, US Congress Select Committee, Novigenix, Burning Rock, More

NEW YORK – Prenetics said this week that its fourth quarter revenues from continuing operations grew 93 percent year over year to $5.4 million from $2.8 million. It posted a loss from continuing operations of $18.6 million, or $1.49 per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2023, compared to a loss of $13.1 million, or $2.07 per share, in Q4 2022. The company, which went public in May 2022, used 12.1 million shares to calculate its loss per share figure in the recently completed quarter compared to 7.7 million shares a year ago. The Hong Kong-based genomics testing firm's full-year 2023 revenues rose 64 percent to $21.7 million from $13.2 million in 2022. It trimmed its loss from continuing operations to $56.4 million, or $4.83 per share, from $225.6 million, or $44.50 per share, in 2022. Prenetics used 11.2 million shares to calculate its loss per share figure in 2023 compared to 5.1 million shares in 2022. Prenetics finished 2023 with $45.7 million in cash and cash equivalents and $16.0 million in short-term deposits. 

Select members of Congress issued a letter to the Biden administration last week, urging the US Department of Defense to add several more Chinese biotech firms with alleged ties to the Chinese military to the so-called list of "Chinese Military Companies." The firms accused include MGI Tech and its US subsidiary Complete Genomics, BGI Shenzhen subsidiaries Innomics and STOmics, Chinese sequencing manufacturer Axbio, Origincell, and Vazyme Biotech.  

In an email, a Complete Genomics spokesperson said the letter "contains a fundamental falsehood about Complete Genomics' ownership." Complete Genomics was founded in the US and is headquartered in San Jose, California, the spokesperson said, and the company is a subsidiary of MGI, an independent, publicly traded company headquartered in China.   

"Innomics and STOmics Americas are two independent US-based companies with no operations in China, nor any connections whatsoever with the Chinese military," a BGI Shenzhen spokesperson noted in an email. "Innomics' business is limited to providing sequencing services to institutional and corporate clients for research purposes, while STOmics' business is limited to selling lab kits and reagents and engaging in research collaborations to advance studies in disease and biodiversity."  

Novigenix said this week it has partnered with the IMMUcan consortium to support the development of RNA sequencing biomarkers to help advance the understanding of how the immune system responds to checkpoint inhibitors in cancer patients. The IMMUcan consortium is a partnership of academic, patient, and industry partners that aims to generate real world evidence to better understand the interaction between the immune system and tumors and the effect of therapeutic interventions on tumors. Novigenix has an artificial intelligence-driven RNA platform that can systemic immune responses to generate individual immune response profiles and tailor treatments to those profiles. 

Burning Rock Biotech reported last week fourth quarter 2023 revenues of RMB121.1 million ($17.1 million), down 15 percent from RMB142.2 million for the same period in 2022. The firm's Q4 net loss was RMB162.2 million, or RMB1.58 per share, compared to RMB216.2 million, or RMB2.11 per share, for the same period in 2022. For full-year 2023, Burning Rock reported revenues of RMB537.4 million, down about 5 percent from RMB563.2 million for 2022. The company's full-year net loss was RMB653.7 million, or RMB6.38 per share, compared to RMB971.2 million, or RMB9.35 per share, for 2022. Burning Rock ended 2023 with RMB615.1 million in cash, cash equivalents, and RMB120,000 in restricted cash. 

Standard BioTools said this week that it has entered a deal through 2026 with pharma firm Bristol Myers Squibb for use of its SomaScan Platform as a tool for clinical trials in multiple therapeutic areas. BMS has previously used SomaScan for work in immunology, cardiovascular disease, and pulmonary fibrosis. The SomaScan platform relies on proprietary aptamers called Somamers to measure up to 11,000 proteins in biofluid samples.  

Viome said this week that it inked a distribution deal with Henry Schein for its Oral Health Pro With CancerDetect laboratory-developed test for early biomarkers of oral and throat cancers. Dental professionals can now purchase Viome’s collection kits directly from Henry Schein, which will ship them to the dental practice, where saliva samples will be collected and registered with Viome online, then sent to Viome’s CLIA lab for testing.   

Centogene said this week that it received a letter from the Nasdaq in late March informing it that it was out of compliance with the exchange's minimum bid price requirement of a common stock closing bid price of at least $1 for 30 consecutive business days. Centogene has 180 days to regain compliance by having its share price close at or above $1 per share for at least 10 consecutive business days. In February, Centogene received a similar note from the Nasdaq relating to its noncompliance with the market's requirement for a minimum market value of at least $15 million. 

Sophia Genetics and Bangalore, India-based Strand Life Sciences said this week they have entered into a global strategic partnership to provide technologies and services to companies in the precision medicine space. Under the partnership, Sophia will provide support via its decentralized Sophia DDM multimodal data-analysis platform and Strand via its curated variant databases and bioinformatics solutions expertise. The companies also said they will codevelop tests, among other initiatives. 

SimBioSys said this week that it has partnered with biotech incubator General Inception to make its PhenoScope tumor phenotyping platform available to General Inception’s portfolio of over 40 early-stage oncology drug development companies. 

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.