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In Brief This Week: Agilent Technologies, Varian; BGI; Beckman Coulter, Premier; National League for Nursing, NHGRI

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Agilent Technologies this week said that it expects its acquisition of Varian to close in either late April or early May. The $1.5 billion deal was signed last June, but had been held up by regulatory reviews in the EU and US.

Agilent also said this week that BGI has selected Agilent to "streamline and enhance" its next-generation sequencing workflow. BGI, formerly the Beijing Genomics Institute, will use Agilent's SureSelect Target Enrichment System, Bravo Automated Liquid Handling Platform, and 2100 Bioanalyzer in its research.

Beckman Coulter this week disclosed in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it has notified customers that it will remove its AccuTnI troponin test kits from use with the company's UniCel DxI immunoassay system as of May 31. In early February, the firm had informed customers of a positive bias in results for its troponin test kits that run on the UniCel DxI immunoassay system. That notice recommended that customers using the troponin test kits discontinue use if an alternative methodology was available.

Beckman Coulter also said this week that Premier Purchasing Partners, a group purchasing unit of healthcare alliance Premier, will provide Beckman's automation, general chemistry, immunoassay, and integrated work cell products to its members at specially negotiated prices under a new three-year deal.

The National League for Nursing said this week that it is one of eight organizations tapped by the National Human Genome Research Institute to participate in the creation and launch of a new online resource for teaching genetics/human genomics to nurses and physician assistants.

The Scan

Panel Recommends Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for Kids

CNN reports that the US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has voted in favor of authorizing the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years old.

Sharing How to Make It

Merck had granted a royalty-free license for its COVID-19 treatment to the Medicines Patent Pool, according to the New York Times.

Bring it Back In

Bloomberg reports that a genetic analysis has tied a cluster of melioidosis cases in the US to a now-recalled aromatherapy spray.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on SomaMutDB, VThunter, SCovid Databases

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: database of somatic mutations in normal tissue, viral receptor-related expression signatures, and more.