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In Brief This Week: Cancer Genetics, Babraham Institute; UK Biobank; AB Sciex; Thermo Fisher Scientific; Agilent; More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Cancer Genetics this week launched its joint venture with the Mayo Clinic. Called OncoSpire Genomics, the new company will develop and commercialize diagnostic tests that leverage next-generation sequencing. OncoSpire is 50-50 owned by Cancer Genetics, which went public in April, and Mayo. In its Form 10-Q, Cancer Genetics said that it is investing at least $2 million into the JV and could potentially invest up to $6 million.

OncoSpire will concentrate on mutually identified projects in the Biomarker Discovery Program within Mayo's Center for Individualized Medicine, with its initial focus on hematologic and urogenital cancers. Other cancers may also be included, to be selected by OncoSpire's scientific review committee. Rutherford, NJ-based Cancer Genetics said the review committee has been formed and has six members, though they were not identified.

OncoSpire is based in Rochester, Minn. Research will be conducted in the genetics and life science labs at Mayo Clinic.


The Babraham Institute has created a wholly owned trading arm called Babraham Commercialisation Services that will manage and commercialize the institute's IP portfolio. It will also facilitate interactions with industry. Katy Evans-Roberts will lead BCS as commercialization manager.


An ethics and governance council has been created to advise the UK Biobank on ethical, legal, and social considerations. Comprised of ethicists, lawyers, scientists, and experts on social and consumer issues, the Ethics and Governance Council will be chaired by Alastair Campbell of the University of Bristol and will "ensure UK Biobank's accountability to the public, acting as an independent guardian of the ethical framework for the project. It will report publicly on UK Biobank's activities, looking particularly at how the project safeguards the interest of its participants and the wider public," the Wellcome Trust said in a statement.


AB Sciex said its API 3200MD and 3200MD QTrap LC/MS/MS systems have obtained CE-IVDD mark and have launched in Europe for in vitro diagnostic use. The platforms are expected to ship in Europe by mid-June.


Thermo Fisher Scientific's board declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.15 per share, payable on July 15 to shareholders of record as on June 17.


Agilent Technologies will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.12 per share on July 24 to shareholders of record as of the close of the business on July 2.


BD's board has declared a quarterly dividend of $49.5 per common share, payable on June 28 to holders on record on June 7. The indicated annual dividend rate is $1.98 per share.


Quest Diagnostics said its board declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.30 per share, payable on July 17 to shareholders of record on July 2.


Corgenix Medical is collaborating with Eli Lilly on the development of immunoassay-based companion diagnostics to support the drug firm's oncology pipeline program. Financial and other terms were not disclosed. Cancers being targeted as part of the collaboration also were not disclosed.


Med BioGene said that warrants have been exercised, providing the Vancouver, British Columbia-based gene expression-based test development firm with gross proceeds of C$231,800 (US$224,313). It said that about 2.3 million warrants and agents' warrants to purchase an equal number of the firm's shares at C$0.10 per share were exercised. Med BioGene now has cash and cash equivalents of approximately C$470,000.


Square 1 Bank said it has provided a term loan and revolving line of credit to Advanced Liquid Logic, a developer of microfluidics products for newborn screening and genomic sample preparation. Square 1 did not provide additional details about either the term loan or credit line.


The Val Skinner Foundation is giving $100,000 to the Cancer Institute of New Jersey in support of its precision medicine initiative. Researchers at the institute are conducting next-generation sequencing to identify genetic mutations associated with cancer.


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

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.