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In Brief This Week: Bruker; QuantRx; Avesthagen; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; BlackBio

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Bruker Energy & Supercon Technologies, a subsidiary of bruker, has filed for an initial public offering in the US. The firm did not say in the prospectus how many shares it intends to offer, and it listed $100 million as the estimated maximum aggregate offering price. Following the offering, parent firm Bruker will continue to hold the majority of shares in BEST, which sells superconducting materials used in applications, such as MRI, NMR, and fusion energy research.

In addition, Bruker said earlier this week that in recognition of its 50th anniversary company officials will ring the opening bell of Nasdaq on Sept. 7.

QuantRx Biomedical said this week that it will relocate its headquarters from Doylestown, Pa., to Portland, Ore., as the firm consolidates its operations. The firm said that the move and consolidation reflects its "transition from the developmental stage to an enterprise focused on the marketing and manufacturing of innovative products for advanced diagnosis of serious disease and health conditions." It also noted that its CFO, Sasha Afanassiev has declined to relocate with the firm.

QuantRx is developing rapid point-of-care diagnostics, and also makes microarrays and molecular imaging agents.

Avesthagen announced today that it has initiated sequencing a set of 60 closely-related human genomes to identify novel genetic information relevant to cancer, metabolic, and neurological disorders as part of its Avestagenome Project. The project is led by the Bangalore, India-based firm and includes research conducted by Genome Enterprise Ltd, a subsidiary of The Genome Analysis Centre in the UK. The project is using Life Technologies' SOLiD 4 sequencing platform with Avesthagen's bioinformatics capabilities to interpret data.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has received a $497,423 grant from the National Science Foundation to renovate and upgrade its plant growth facilities, where it conducts work on Arabidopsis and other crop plants. CSHL said that its current facilities are "inadequate to meet the demands of current genome-driven plant biology research." The funds were awarded under the American Recovery and reinvestment Act of 2009.

Madrid, Spain-based BlackBio this week announced that its BlackLight Sepsis Kit has received the CE Mark. The test is based on pyrosequencing and rapidly identifies bacteria in less than four hours.

The Scan

Panel Votes for COVID-19 Pill

A US Food and Drug Administration panel has voted to support the emergency use authorization of an antiviral pill for COVID-19 from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, CNN says.

But Not Harm

New Scientist reports that UK bioethicists say that though gene editing may improve food production, it should not harm livestock welfare.

Effectiveness Drop Anticipated

Moderna's Stéphane Bancel predicts that that current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may be less effective against the Omicron variant, the Financial Times reports.

Cell Studies of Human Chromatin Accessibility, SARS-CoV-2 Variants, Cell Signaling Networks

In Cell this week: chromatin accessibility maps of adult human tissues, modeling to track SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, and more.