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In Brief This Week: BGI, NanoString Technologies, Quest, and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – BGI this week announced plans for building a technology development and research center on the West Coast. The BGI Global Innovation Center will be located in Seattle, Washington, and San Jose, California. It will develop technologies and conduct collaborative projects in life science, global health, and related fields. Specifically, BGI intends to support several research initiatives, such as precision medicine and population health projects at the University of Washington.

NanoString Technologies this week said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that its collaboration with Astellas Pharma and Medivation (now owned by Pfizer) to develop a companion diagnostic for an Astella/Medivation investigational breast cancer drug has been terminated. NanoString was informed of the termination after Astellas announced that it and Pfizer would discontinue a planned clinical trial for the drug. NanoString said that the decision was unrelated to work it performed in the development program. Through March 31, NanoString had received a $6.0 million technology access fee, $6.0 million of preclinical milestone payments, and approximately $3.0 million of development funding pursuant to the terms of the agreement. At March 31, $10.6 million was recorded as deferred revenue, which, upon termination of the agreement, will be recorded as collaboration revenue.

Quest Diagnostics’ board this week declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.45 per share, payable on July 24 to shareholders of record on July 10.

Agilent Technologies said this week that it will pay a quarterly dividend of $.13 per share on July 26 to all shareholders of record as of the close of business on July 3.

Thermo Fisher Scientific this week said its board declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.15 per share, payable on July 17 to shareholders of record as of June 15.

Great Basin said in a document filed with the SEC this week that it is unable to file its Form 10-Q for the first quarter of this year before the filing deadline, due to delays in preparing its unaudited quarterly financial statements. It also said that due to a change in derivative liability associated with the company's convertible debt and a change in fair value of Series F preferred stock, it expects to report a profit of $21.5 million for Q1 2017, compared to a net loss of $33.7 million in the year-ago period.

CareDx this week said in a regulatory filing with the SEC that it will be unable to file its first quarter Form 10-Q in a timely manner. The company said that it needs additional time to complete a review of its financial statements and other disclosures, and said it anticipates filing the Form 10-Q on or before “the fifth calendar day following the prescribed due date.”

PositiveID said this week that its Q1 2017 revenue dropped 29 percent to $1.2 million from $1.7 million in the prior-year quarter, partly because of the delivery of two large projects in its mobile labs segment in early 2016. In early 2017, work progressed on several mobile labs, which are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2017, the firm said. PositiveID Chairman and CEO William Caragol said in a statement that the firm expects that 2017 revenues will exceed 2016 revenues of $5.6 million.

In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared on the GenomeWeb site.

The Scan

Cancer Survival Linked to Mutational Burden in Pan-Cancer Analysis

A pan-cancer paper appearing in JCO Precision Oncology suggests tumor mutation patterns provide clues for predicting cancer survival that are independent of other prognostic factors.

Australian Survey Points to Public Support for Genetic Risk Disclosure in Relatives of At-Risk Individuals

A survey in the European Journal of Human Genetics suggests most adult Australians are in favor of finding out if a relative tests positive for a medically actionable genetic variant.

Study Links Evolution of Stony Coral Skeleton to Bicarbonate Transporter Gene

A PNAS paper focuses on a skeleton-related bicarbonate transporter gene introduced to stony coral ancestors by tandem duplication.

Hormone-Based Gene Therapy to Sterilize Domestic Cat

A new paper in Nature Communication suggests that gene therapy could be a safer alternative to spaying domestic cats.