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In Brief This Week: SQI Diagnostics, T2 Biosystems, Enhanc3D, QuidelOrtho, More

NEW YORK – SQI Diagnostics this week posted a more than 18-fold year-over-year increase in second quarter revenues for fiscal year 2022. For the quarter ended March 31, the Toronto-based firm totaled revenues of C$5.6 million (US$4.4 million) compared to revenues of C$300,000 in Q2 2021. The company attributed the revenue growth to the acquisition of the Precision Biomonitoring COVID-19 testing business during the quarter for C$6.8 million in cash and stock, a deal that was announced in January. 

The firm posted a fiscal Q2 gross profit of C$3.0 million compared to a gross profit of C$300,000 in the year-ago quarter. Its Q2 R&D expenses rose 33 percent year over year to C$2.8 million from C$2.1 million, mainly due to higher headcount, while its SG&A expenses rose 56 percent to C$2.5 million from C$1.6 million, primarily due to one-time costs for the Precision Biomonitoring acquisition. At the end of Q2, SQI had cash and cash equivalents of C$1.5 million. 

The company noted that during the quarter, the New York State Department of Health granted conditional approval to its diagnostic testing partner, KSL Diagnostics, for SQI Diagnostics' Exact COVID-19 Antibody Test. 

Further, to finance the acquisition of the Precision Biomonitoring assets, SQI entered into a credit agreement with Pivot Financial, an arm's length third party, and certain insiders of the company. The agreement was for a short-term senior secured demand credit facility in the aggregate amount of C$7.5 million, bearing interest at 15 percent per year for two months. Following the quarter, the credit facility was extended for an additional two months and is due on June 11. 


T2 Biosystems said in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission this week that the US Food and Drug Administration has denied the company's application for breakthrough device designation for its T2Biothreat Panel. The firm said a US clinical trial for the panel is continuing and is expected to be completed this year. Data from the trial may allow the company to file for FDA clearance of the panel later this year. 


Enhanc3D Genomics said this week that it has been awarded a grant under Johnson & Johnson Innovation's Immunology Innovations QuickFire Challenge, which supports companies working on advancing precision medicine approaches in immune-mediated diseases. Enhanc3D, a 2020 spinout from the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, UK, that focuses on the 3D organization of the human genome for target and biomarker discovery, will receive an undisclosed amount of funding, one year of residency at Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS, and mentorship from experts at companies belonging to Johnson & Johnson. 


Quidel announced this week the completion of its combination with Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, creating QuidelOrtho. The company will be headquartered in San Diego, has approximately 6,000 employees, and will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol QDEL. The combined firm generated more than $3.5 billion in revenues in 2021. Under the terms of the agreement governing the transaction, former Ortho Clinical Diagnostics shareholders received $7.14 in cash and 0.1055 shares of QuidelOrtho common stock for each Ortho common share. Former Quidel stockholders received one share of QuidelOrtho common stock for each share of Quidel common stock. The QuidelOrtho board is composed of eight former Quidel board members and four former Ortho board members. 


Agilent Technologies said this week that it plans to expand its Little Falls office and lab campus in Wilmington, Delaware, in response to growing worldwide demand for analytical laboratory consumables. The company plans to invest more than $7 million to upgrade the functionality of the Little Falls R&D and applications development labs at a three-level, 354,000-square-foot site. The investment will support the redesign, demolition, construction, and outfitting of current laboratories. Agilent employs more than 800 people at Little Falls. 


The Canadian government said this week that it is launching public consultations for its upcoming Pan-Canadian Genomics Strategy, which aims to enhance federal investments in genomics and to advance the commercialization and adoption of genomics. Until June 24, Canadians can provide their input through an online survey, and the government will host roundtables with stakeholders in academia, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector. A summary report of the findings will be published later this year. Canada's 2021 budget provided almost C$400 million (US$312 million) for the creation and implementation of a Pan-Canadian Genomics Strategy, including C$136.7 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Genome Canada for challenge-driving programs; C$260.3 million to support the strategy's activities; and C$2.7 million for a joint Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)-National Research Council of Canada secretariat to provide support for the development and implementation of the strategy. 


UK-based multiomics data analysis firm Eagle Genomics said this week that it has joined the Medicon Valley Alliance (MVA), a nonprofit organization of members of a Danish-Swedish life science cluster. Eagle said it continues to support R&D into the microbiome and other areas with its AI-augmented knowledge discovery platform e[datascientist]. 


Cardio Diagnostics said this week that it has moved its headquarters to Chicago, where it will be based at Portal Innovations in Fulton Market. The company has been developing an AI-driven, epigenetics-based clinical test for cardiovascular disease called Epi+Gen CHD that assesses the risk for the onset of new coronary heart disease. 


Element Biosciences said this week that it has moved its headquarters to the Alexandria Tech Center in the Sorrento Mesa life science hub of San Diego, where it is occupying 186,000 square feet in a building that offers both lab and general office space. 


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

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.