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In Brief This Week: Thermo Fisher Scientific, Exact Sciences, T2 Biosystems, Helix, More

NEW YORK – Thermo Fisher Scientific said this week that it has opened a new biomanufacturing facility in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. The facility, which cost $160 million and spans 85,000 square feet, will support purification processes for the development of biotherapeutics and vaccines. Thermo Fisher said the new site is part of its $650 million multi-year investment to expand its bioprocessing production capabilities. 

Separately, the firm said this week that it has become a founding sponsor for the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center (PABC). A nonprofit life sciences incubator-accelerator, the PABC has an existing campus in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and a new B+Labs incubator in Philadelphia in partnership with the Brandywine Realty Trust. Through its sponsorship, Thermo Fisher said it will provide its advanced technology and expertise to emerging biotech residents.” 

Exact Sciences said this week that it has awarded $525,000 in grants to eight health centers that focus on improving colorectal cancer screening rates in vulnerable populations. Under the program, called Funding Opportunities for CRC Screening Uptake Strategies (FOCUS), awardees will implement intervention strategies to increase colorectal cancer screening rates. The recipients are the Access Community Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin; AtlantiCare Health Services in Atlantic City, New Jersey; Community HealthCare Network in New York; Angeles Community Health Center in Los Angeles; Mariposa Community Health Center in Santa Cruz County, Arizona; Mount Sinai Internal Medicine Associates in New York; Mountain Park Health Center in Phoenix, Arizona; and San Joaquin Health Center in Stockton, California. 

Hologic said this week its board of directors have authorized a new $1 billion stock repurchase program with a five-year term. The program took effect at the close of trading on Sept. 23 and replaces Hologic's previous $1 billion share repurchase authorization, which had about $150 million remaining.

T2 Biosystems said this week it has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with an unnamed company covering the Baltic region including Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Under the deal, the distributor will sell T2 Biosystems’ T2Dx instruments and the T2 Bacteria, T2Candida, and T2Resistance panels. Financial and other terms of the deal were also undisclosed. 

Helix said this week that it has extended its SARS-CoV-2 sequencing and surveillance collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Helix, with resources from the Broad Institute and the University of Washington School of Medicine, will conduct genomic sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 to provide baseline information for the CDC's national and state-level viral monitoring efforts. The announcement builds on a collaboration with Illumina launched in January 2021

French diagnostics company Theradiag announced its earnings results for the first half of 2022 this week. Total revenues rose 15 percent to €6.3 million ($6.3 million) from €5.5 million in the same period last year. The firm’s net loss totaled €56,000 compared to €92,000 in the prior-year period. Its cash position was €6.0 million at the end of the first half of 2022. The results were in line with the company’s previously announced preliminary results. 

AnPac Bio said this week that the Nasdaq Hearings Panel has granted it a hearing, scheduled for Oct. 20, to appeal the firm’s delisting from the stock exchange. Until the hearing, and pending a final written decision by the panel, AnPac Bio’s stock will continue to be traded on the Nasdaq. On Sept. 9, the company received a letter from Nasdaq saying its stock would be delisted after failing to regain compliance with the $1 minimum bid price within the 180-day compliance period, which ended on Sept. 5. According to AnPac, the Nasdaq staff does not believe AnPac is eligible for a second 180-day compliance period because the firm has not demonstrated that it has shareholders equity of at least $5 million. At the hearing, AnPac will present its financial data and its plan to regain compliance with the $1 minimum bid rule, which includes a share reverse split, in order to seek a second compliance period. 

Arima Genomics said this week that it has moved into new headquarters in the Arroyo Business Center complex in Carlsbad, California. The 11,000-square-foot facility includes six laboratories and office space. 

Cannabis genomics firm Medicinal Genomics said this week that it will add UgenTec's FastFinder software to its microbial safety qPCR testing platform in order to reduce testing turnaround time through automation of analysis and interpretation. Medicinal's platform is specifically designed for use on cannabis and hemp products. 

Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre (MGRC) said this week that it has signed a letter of intent with Universiti Malaysia Sabah and Rinani Genotec to collaborate on research and development in genetics as well as regenerative and alternative medicine. Under the agreement, MGRC and Genotec will help to strengthen teaching and research in the UMS undergraduate program. 

MyHealthChecked reported this week that its revenues for the first half of 2022 almost tripled year over year, to £9.8 million ($10.9 million) from £3.3 million in H1 2021. For the six months ending June 30, the Cardiff, UK-based home healthcare and wellness firm brought in profits of just more than £1 million, up from a £269,000 loss the year before. Its adjusted earnings per share were £0.13 in H1. As of June 30, the firm had £7 million in cash and cash equivalents. 

Agilent Technologies said this week its board of directors has approved a quarterly cash dividend of $.21 per share of common stock. The dividend is payable Oct. 26 to all shareholders of record as of Oct. 4. 

German diagnostics company Lifespin said this week that it has installed additional NMR equipment that will double its annual lab testing capacity, allowing it to scan and create metabolic profiles for as many as 300,000 human samples per year. 

Vidium Animal Health said this week that it has signed a reseller agreement with Antech Diagnostics. Under the deal, Antech will provide Vidium's SearchLight DNA, a genomic diagnostic test for cancer in dogs, to its North American customer base. Vidium, based in Phoenix, Arizona, is a subsidiary of the Translational Genomics Institute (TGen) and provides diagnostic tests to veterinary oncologists, general practitioners, and pet owners. 

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.