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In Brief This Week: Qiagen; DiaSorin; Quest; Agilent; Thermo Fisher Scientific; and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Qiagen has extended the offer period for its DKK683 million ($103.5 million) acquisition of Exiqon. It announced in late March a voluntary conditional public takeover offer to buy all of Exiqon's shares for DKK18 per share, and as of the end of the day on May 18 had received acceptances from shareholders in Exiqon representing around 81 percent of the share capital and voting rights in the firm. Qiagen said the offer now expires at the end of the day on June 2.

"We realize that some shareholders may need more time to review the offer," Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz said in a statement. "We trust that in the end they will recognize that the offer values the company appropriately, and that we will reach the 90% acceptance rate necessary to complete the transaction."

DiaSorin said this week that it has completed its previously announced $300 million acquisition of the Focus Diagnostics immunodiagnostic and molecular diagnostic products business from Quest Diagnostics. DiaSorin now owns all Focus tangible and intangible assets used to develop, manufacture, and distribute its molecular diagnostic and immunoassay ELISA products, as well as other intellectual property. The deal did not include Quest's diagnostic information service laboratories currently operating under the Focus Diagnostics brand.

Quest Diagnostics also this week said that its board of directors has approved a $.40 per share dividend to be paid on July 20 to shareholders of record as of July 6.

Agilent Technologies announced this week that its board of directors has approved a quarterly dividend of $.115 per share to be paid on July 27 to all shareholders of record as of the close of business on July 5.

Thermo Fisher Scientific this week said that its board of directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.15 per share payable on July 15 to shareholders of record as of June 15.

Bruker announced this week that its board has approved a quarterly cash dividend of $.04 per share to be paid on June 24 to stockholders of record as of June 6.

OpGen this week announced the first closing of a private placement financing that raised gross proceeds of $10.4 million. The firm priced the financing last week. It expects a second closing of the financing in mid-June, but did not provide further details.

Sysmex subsidiary Sysmex Inostics announced this week that it has opened its first RAS biomarker testing site in Nancy, France, at the biopathology department of the Institut de Cancérologie de Lorraine. The center will offer Sysmex's blood-based OncoBEAM IVD test for metastatic colorectal cancer patients.

Molecular diagnostics firm PositiveID said that its first quarter revenues jumped to $1.7 million from $100,000 year over year. The firm, which is developing the Firefly Dx polymerase chain reaction breadboard prototype pathogen detection system, said that its current revenues are primarily generated from its Mobile Labs segment.

In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared on the GenomeWeb site.

The Scan

Panel Recommends Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for Kids

CNN reports that the US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has voted in favor of authorizing the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years old.

Sharing How to Make It

Merck had granted a royalty-free license for its COVID-19 treatment to the Medicines Patent Pool, according to the New York Times.

Bring it Back In

Bloomberg reports that a genetic analysis has tied a cluster of melioidosis cases in the US to a now-recalled aromatherapy spray.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on SomaMutDB, VThunter, SCovid Databases

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: database of somatic mutations in normal tissue, viral receptor-related expression signatures, and more.