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In Brief This Week: Abbott; PerkinElmer; Medical College of Wisconsin; Leica Biosystems; Accelrys; Five3 Genomics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Abbott said this week that it will expand the current CE-IVD product labeling for its Vysis ALK Break Apart FISH Probe Kit, allowing the test to be marketed in the European Union as a companion diagnostic. The test is designed to detect rearrangements of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene in advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients who may be eligible for treatment with Pfizer's Xalkori (crizotinib), an oral first-in-class ALK inhibitor. The test was the only diagnostic used in global clinical trials in conjunction with the Pfizer drug, which gained conditional marketing authorization by EU regulators this week.

Abbott noted that the test has been available to labs in the EU since September 2011 and has been used primarily in academic studies and to support evaluations of new therapies. The US Food and Drug Administration Xalkori along with the Abbott companion test in September 2011.

PerkinElmer's board of directors this week declared a quarterly dividend of $.07 per share of common stock. The dividend is payable on Feb. 8, 2013, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Jan. 18, 2013.

The Medical College of Wisconsin plans to develop a $60 million public/private partnership aimed at bringing sequencing to more patients and creating spinoff businesses, according to an article published online this week by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It is discussing forming the venture with the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, The BloodCenter of Wisconsin, and the Froedtert Hospital. It also has hired two consulting firms to review its business plan for the for-profit joint venture and will seek investors, according to the MJS.

Leica Biosystems has completed the acquisitionof Aperio, expanding its digital pathology business. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Accelrys has acquired Aegis Analytical for $30 million. Aegis, based in Lafayette, Colo., provides an enterprise manufacturing process intelligence software platform for the efficient production of regulated and specialty products. Accelrys retained key members of Aegis' management team and employees, it said.

Former graduate students in the Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz have formed Five3 Genomics, a bioinformatics firm with a focus on cancer genomics. CEO Steve Benz completed his PhD in bioinformatics this year and is joined by CTO Zachary Sanborn and CSO Charles Vaske. The firm has inked a licensing agreement with UCSC covering their technology.

In Brief This Week is a Friday column containing news items that our readers may have missed during the week.