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In Brief This Week: Twist Bioscience, Qiagen, MicroGen Diagnostics, and More

NEW YORK – Twist Bioscience this week announced a therapeutic antibody development partnership with Germany's Boehringer Ingelheim. Under the terms of the deal, the partners will use Twist Biopharma's synthetic antibody phage display libraries to discover therapeutic antibodies against multiple targets provided by Boehringer Ingelheim. They will work together to validate and optimize any resulting candidates. Boehringer Ingelheim will retain exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize any therapeutic antibodies discovered as part of the collaboration.

Twist will receive an upfront payment for each program entry and has the potential to earn up to $710 million in success-based clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments for the target discovery programs.


Qiagen said this week it has been chosen to be included in Germany's DAX (Deutscher Aktienindex) stock market index as part of an expansion of the index to the 40 largest companies based on market capitalization. Qiagen will join the index on Sept. 20, and will remain in TecDAX which comprises the 30 largest German technology sector companies. The company, which is on track for more than $2 billion in sales in 2021, also has its shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange.


MicroGen Diagnostics announced this week that it has resolved a dispute with Advent Health about COVID-19 testing services provided in May 2020. Advent ended its testing contract with MicroGenDx due to concerns about timing and reliability of testing services. MicroGenDx claimed the federal government's sequestering of necessary supplies interfered with delivery of services and said its tests were reliable.


BelHealth Investment Partners said this week that it has completed the sale of assets of the international division of General Genetics Corporation, which trades as EasyDNA, to Genetic Technologies of Australia through a combination of cash and stock. Genetic Technologies had said in July that it planned to acquire direct-to-consumer DNA testing provider EasyDNA for $4 million.


Ortho Clinical Diagnostics this week priced a previously announced underwritten secondary offering of 22 million ordinary shares held by a selling shareholder affiliated with Carlyle Group, at a price of $17.50 per ordinary share. The selling shareholder granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to 3.3 million additional ordinary shares within 30 days of the pricing of the offering.

Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Securities are acting as the joint book-running managers and as representatives of the underwriters for the offering, which is expected to close Sept. 14. Ortho is not selling any ordinary shares in the offering, and will not receive any of the proceeds from the offering.


Vector Laboratories, a developer and manufacturer of labeling and detection reagents for biomedical research, said this week that it has closed a $124 million cash buyout, backed by private equity firm Thompson Street Capital Partners, to accelerate its expansion into protein detection. The new funding enables Vector to pursue its acquisition strategy and to accelerate the commercialization of labeling and detection technologies for immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, glycobiology, and bioconjugation.

Lisa Sellers led the buyout and was concurrently appointed CEO of Vector, where she previously served as chief operating officer. Sellers also previously served as vice president of marketing at 10x Genomics. Also concurrent with the buyout, Vector launched VectaMount Express, a mounting medium for immunohistochemistry applications designed to improve laboratory productivity and reduce chemical solvent waste.


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

Highly Similar

Researchers have uncovered bat viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Gain of Oversight

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration is considering greater oversight of gain-of-function research.

Lasker for mRNA Vaccine Work

The Scientist reports that researchers whose work enabled the development of mRNA-based vaccines are among this year's Lasker Award winners

PLOS Papers on Causal Variant Mapping, Ancient Salmonella, ALK Fusion Test for NSCLC

In PLOS this week: MsCAVIAR approach to map causal variants, analysis of ancient Salmonella, and more.