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In Brief This Week: Thermo Fisher, HalioDx, OncoCyte, Amoy Diagnostics, More

NEW YORK – Finnish firms MediSapiens and Medfiles said this week that they have formed a partnership under which Medfiles, a contract research organization, will integrate MediSapiens' genomics platform Genius into its processes. In addition, MediSapiens, a bioinformatics company, is supporting Medfiles with data curation and quality assurance technologies, including its Accurate technology.


Thermo Fisher Scientific said this week that it has completed the previously announced acquisition of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing facility in Cork, Ireland, from GlaxoSmithKline for €90 million ($98.4 million). The site's approximately 400 employees will become part of Thermo Fisher's pharma services business, which belongs to its laboratory products and services business segment.


HalioDx announced this week its participation in the Oncobiome consortium. The project, which is funded with €15 million ($16.4 million), aims to discover the relationship between intestinal microbial signatures and treatments for breast, colon, lung, and skin cancers in terms of response, resistance, and toxicity. Marseille, France-based HalioDx will apply its R&D expertise and Immunoscore solutions with other biomarkers to the project, it said. The company will analyze samples from 1,000 patients originating from prospective and retrospective studies, and it will industrialize certain intestinal microbial signatures as clinical research tools for subsequent validation and diagnostic test development.


OncoCyte said Tuesday that it had closed its previously announced initial investment in a 25 percent preferred stock interest in Razor Genomics, acquiring the rights to commercialize Razor's CLIA-validated lung cancer treatment stratification test, which identifies early-stage lung cancer patients at high risk for recurrence. At closing, OncoCyte said it made a cash payment of $10 million for the initial 25 percent equity interest in the form of newly created preferred stock. OncoCyte also made a $1 million milestone payment to Razor's parent company in reflection of the firm's recent draft local coverage decision from CMS contractor Palmetto GBA.

Upon the achievement of additional milestones, Razor will receive additional payments, and OncoCyte has a continuing option to acquire 100 percent of the company's outstanding shares for $10 million in cash and $5 million of common stock, subject to the satisfaction of certain contractual conditions. OncoCyte is required to go through with the full acquisition if a certain trial milestone is met.


Amoy Diagnostics said that its AmoyDx Lung Cancer PCR Panel is being used for first-line screening for patients whio potentially benefit from targeted therapy in Japan's Lung Cancer Genomic Screening Project for Individualized Medicine (LC-SCRUM). The panel analyzes nine lung cancer actionable target genes with clear clinical values in a short time, allowing participating facilities to report the testing results of various driver genes to LC-SCRUM-Asia within three to four days after specimen collection, Amoy said. LC-SCRUM-Japan is a genomic screening project conducted by the National Cancer Center in cooperation with more than 200 medical institutions and pharmaceutical manufacturers across the country. The organization has screened target genes in lung cancer patients continuously since 2013 and has enrolled over 7,000 patients as of the end of January 2019.


Immunexpress said that it closed a private funding round worth an undisclosed amount. The company will use the new funds to achieve its immediate corporate goal of gaining 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration for its SeptiCyte RAPID direct-from-blood molecular host-response assay to aid in the diagnosis of sepsis in critically ill patients.


Integrated DNA Technologies said that it has partnered with Argonaut Manufacturing Services to provide custom lyophilized reagents in order to eliminate the need for the cold chain and its environmental impact. IDT said that the pipeline allows clients to custom-design and order automation- and high throughput-ready GMP lyophilized IDT reagents in several different formats.


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

NFTs for Genome Sharing

Nature News writes that non-fungible tokens could be a way for people to profit from sharing genomic data.

Wastewater Warning System

Time magazine writes that cities and college campuses are monitoring sewage for SARS-CoV-2, an approach officials hope lasts beyond COVID-19.

Networks to Boost Surveillance

Scientific American writes that new organizations and networks aim to improve the ability of developing countries to conduct SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance.

Genome Biology Papers on Gastric Cancer Epimutations, BUTTERFLY, GUNC Tool

In Genome Biology this week: recurrent epigenetic mutations in gastric cancer, correction tool for unique molecular identifier-based assays, and more.