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In Brief This Week: Abbott; Waters; Affymetrix; Cleveland Diagnostics; Cepheid; Evotec, J&J; Sigma-Aldrich; Thermo Fisher; More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Abbott this week said that the US Food and Drug Administration recently approved the expanded use of the firm's RealTime HCV and RealTime HBV assay to run on the m2000 RealTime system.


Waters disclosed in its Form 10-Q that it paid $23 million to acquire bioinformatics firm Nonlinear Dynamics in August. Waters has allocated $3 million of the price to intangible assets. The remaining $20 million was accounted for as goodwill, which is not tax deductible for tax purposes, it said.


Affymetrix said in its Form 10-Q that it netted proceeds of about $11.8 million from its recent sale of Anatrace to investment firm StoneCalibre. The carrying value of the assets was about $2.5 million, comprised mainly of inventory, Affymetrix said. It will record a gain on the transaction of $9.4 million during the fourth quarter of 2013.


Cleveland Clinic Innovations has spun off Cleveland Diagnostics to develop and commercialize cancer diagnostics and screening tests. The company focuses on protein biomarker structural changes correlating with disease, and its pipeline comprises non-invasive cancer diagnostic assays, including blood-based tests, that initially will focus on prostate, breast, and ovarian cancer. Cleveland Clinic Innovations formed Cleveland Diagnostics with AnalizaDx. Arnon Chait, president of AnalizaDx, is CEO of the new firm.


Cepheid said in its Form 10-Q that it paid a total of $4.0 million for the purchase of an Italian distributor and the assets of another firm. It made a $3.6 million cash payment, as well as $200,000 in outstanding payables as part of the deals. Another $200,000 is contingent consideration to be paid over time. The deals, Cepheid said, are part of the expansion of its international distribution network for its equipment and reagents. The company had previously announced the purchase of the Italian distributor but did not reveal the terms of the deal. It also has not disclosed the name of the distributor.


Evotec and the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center are collaborating to identify new targets for Alzheimer's disease drug discovery and development. Evotec and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which is part of J&J, will partner to discover and develop new treatments for Alzheimer's. Janssen will have access to Evotec's proprietary database to select targets and therapeutic candidates and then move them to pre-clinical and clinical development. Janssen will reimburse up to $10 million in FTE-based research costs. It also will make pre-clinical, clinical, regulatory, and commercial payments of up to a maximum of between $125 million and $145 million per program upon certain milestones. Evotec will receive royalties on future sales of products that may result from the collaboration.


In its third quarter earnings document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Sigma-Aldrich said that it laid off about 90 employees during the quarter as part of a restructuring plan to close down a manufacturing site in Europe. Total restructuring costs are expected to be $12 million, comprised of $9 million to reduce the value of the assets impacted by the restructuring, and $3 million of employee termination costs. Sigma-Aldrich recorded $10 million of the restructuring costs in the third quarter.


Thermo Fisher Scientific announced its board of directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.15 per share, payable on Jan. 15, 2014, to shareholders of record as of Dec. 16.


Quidel said in its Form 10-Q that it is moving its manufacturing operations in Santa Clara, Calif., to Ohio. The move is part of the company's plans to streamline operations, consolidate and "take advantage of available capacity and resources," and reduce costs. The relocation is anticipated to incur $1.8 million in costs in 2013. Annual savings of $2.0 million is expected to begin in 2014, the company said.


Life science product company Novus Biologicals recently announced it acquired Imgenex for an undisclosed amount. Imgenex, based in San Diego, provides specialized reagents for life science research. Novus said Imgenex has particular strength in innate and adaptive immunity, apoptosis, and cancer, and is well-known for its extensive line of products aimed at the study of toll-like receptor proteins.


Atossa Genetics has scheduled a Nov. 14 meeting with the FDA to discuss the regulatory pathway and data requirements needed for Atossa's planned premarket notification submission to the agency for the reintroduction of the ForeCYTE Breast Health Test System, the company said in an SEC document. Atossa voluntarily recalled the system, comprising an assay and an instrument, in October amid concerns raised by the FDA.


Indian IT firm Accel Frontline has entered into a memorandum of understanding with SciGenom Labs to provide value-added software development and cloud computing services for the life sciences. The deal provides Accel access to new sectors, such as genomics, in the US and Japan, it said. SciGenom is focused on sequencing and molecular testing services and has a molecular biology laboratory in Kochi, India. Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.


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

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.