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In Brief This Week: Sema4, Angle, Waters, Agilent, and More

Sema4, a Mount Sinai genomic testing spinout, plans to relocate its laboratory facilities from New York to a yet-to-be-determined site in Stamford, Connecticut, and will add more than 400 jobs over the next five years. The new Stamford lab will complement the company's existing recently announced headquarters in Stamford and its laboratory in Branford, Connecticut. Overall, Sema4 is expected to employ more than 550 employees in the state. The Department of Economic and Community Development will provide Sema4 with a $6 million loan for the purchase of machinery and equipment, capital improvements, and to create the new jobs. The company is eligible for partial loan forgiveness if certain milestones are met. In December 2015, DECD provided the company a $9.5 million loan to create 145 jobs in the state.

Angle said that the first patient has been enrolled into its ANG-002 clinical study for metastatic breast cancer. The study will support the company's planned application to the US Food and Drug Administration to receive Class II clearance for a product for harvesting intact circulating tumor cells from patient blood for subsequent analysis. The clinical study involves recruitment of 200 metastatic breast cancer patients and 200 healthy volunteers enrolled at leading US cancer centers.

The primary endpoint of the study, being led by MD Anderson, is the cytological evaluation of harvested cells confirming that CTCs are harvested from metastatic breast cancer patients but not from healthy volunteers. Additional exploratory endpoints are to demonstrate that the Parsortix-harvested cells can be analyzed using quantitative PCR (MD Anderson), fluorescence in situ hybridisation (University of Southern California) and whole-transcriptome sequencing (University of Southern California). The company expects that both the clinical study and associated analytical studies will be completed in the second half of 2018.

Accuron this week completed the divestiture of its shares in Veredus Laboratories to Sekisui Chemical. Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed. Singapore-based Veredus develops multiplex molecular solutions. Its lab-on-a-chip platform called the VerePlex Biosystem combines microelectric mechanical systems with microfluidics to integrate multiplexed DNA amplification with microarray detection. The firm’s test menu includes panels for influenza subtyping, species differentiation, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis drug resistance, Sekisui said in a statement.

Waters this week announced plans to significantly expand its precision chemistry operation in Taunton, Massachusetts, saying it anticipates investing approximately $215 million to build and equip a new facility to support rising customer demand and ongoing developments in chemistry technology. The Taunton site is responsible for bulk synthesis of chromatographic media which is critical to sample analysis for pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, materials, food, clinical, and biomedical research applications, Waters said. The firm expects the new plant to be operational by 2022.

Agilent Technologies announced this week that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the remaining shares of Lasergen for $105 million. Agilent made an initial investment in the privately-held company in March 2016 to acquire a 48 percent ownership stake with a two-year call option to acquire the remaining shares. Agilent initially disclosed that it had exercised its option to acquire Lasergen's remaining shares in a 10Q filing with the SEC on Feb. 23.

Proteomics International said this week that it has raised A$3.1 million ($2.4 million) after the exercise of certain options by their holders. The amount represents an uptake of 90 percent of the more than 17 million options on issue at Dec. 31, 2017, the Australian firm said. The remaining options, which represent a shortfall of A$341,808, are being exercised by the underwriter, Alto Capital. The options expired at the end of March and on completion, the exercise will raise the maximum available amount of $3.4 million before costs, Proteomics International said.

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.