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In Brief This Week: Affymetrix; LabCorp; Life Tech, DNAVEC, N-of-One; Qiagen; MDxHealth; Abbott: More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Affymetrix this week said it sold its Anatrace business to investment firm StoneCalibre for an undisclosed amount. Anatrace is based in Maumee, Ohio and is a highly specialized developer, manufacturer, and distributor of high-purity detergents and synthetic lipids used in membrane protein research. An Affymetrix spokesman said Anatrace's revenues were not material to the company's overall financials.


Laboratory Corporation of America said its board has authorized an additional $1 billion to its share repurchase program. In the third quarter, LabCorp bought back $288 million of its shares, representing 2.9 million shares.


Life Technologies has extended a collaborative agreement with DNAVEC. As part of the deal, DNAVEC will perform early stage R&D to apply DNAVEC's Sendai virus technology to third- and fourth-generation tools for use within the reprogramming and stem cell workflows, Life Tech said. The two companies also launched the CytoTune-iPS 2.0 Sendai Reprogramming Kit for developing induced pluripotent stem cells from human somatic cells.

Separately, Life Tech has selected N-of-One to provide personalized cancer treatment strategies as an employee benefit, N-of-One said. The Waltham, Mass.-based firm develops molecular diagnostic strategies for physicians and patients. Under the new benefit, N-of-One will coordinate genomic profiling of Life Tech employees' cancer, interpret the results, and develop a comprehensive Treatment Strategy Roadmap for the patients.


Qiagen announced the Empowered Genome Community to assist those who have had their genomes sequenced share, explore, and interpret their data with researchers and each other. In conjunction with the initiative, Qiagen released an open collaborative analysis of myopia in 111 people who had their genomes sequenced through Harvard's Personal Genome Project. Common citizens, in addition to researchers, can review and refine the analysis via Qiagen's Ingenuity Variant Analysis, a cloud-based solution, with a goal to jointly publish insights on myopia next year.


MDxHealth's PredictMDx for Glioblastoma test has been included in the 2013 National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines. The American Medical Association also awarded the test with Tier 1 reimbursement code 81287. Tier 1 codes are assigned to report gene-specific and genomic procedures and are considered category 1 codes, MDxHealth said. Its test is for identifying patients most likely to respond to targeted therapy for glioblastoma.


Abbott this week said that it is increasing the company's quarterly common dividend to $.22 per share from $.14 per share, a 57 percent increase. The change takes effect with a dividend that will be paid on Feb. 15, 2014, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 15, 2014.


Trovagene announced a collaboration with a drug firm to evaluate Trovagene's urine-based, cell-free DNA technology for detecting certain epidermal growth factor receptor mutations associated with lung cancer. The San Diego-based company declined to identify the name of the drug firm. Terms of the deal were also undisclosed.


Chinese pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device R&D firm WuXi PharmaTech has gained CLIA certification for its Shanghai genomics laboratory, allowing it to perform clinical trial gene sequencing projects.


GenCell Biosystems is basing its US subsidiary in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Research Park's MGE Innovation Center, the research park said. GenCell is headquartered in Limerick, Ireland and has developed a fully automated, flexible genetic analysis technology that uses minute amounts of oil as the media for its tests. This approach eliminates the need for plastic test consumables, and can be used for applications including genotyping, as well as library preparation for next-generation sequencing, GenCell said.


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

The Scan

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A new study in Nature using cell lines shows that structural variants can enable oncogene activation.

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Study Tracks Off-Target Gene Edits Linked to Epigenetic Features

Using machine learning, researchers characterize in BMC Genomics the potential off-target effects of 19 computed or experimentally determined epigenetic features during CRISPR-Cas9 editing.