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In Brief This Week: Cancer Genetics; NeoGenomics; BioConsortia; StartX-QB3 Labs; Proteocyte Diagnostics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Cancer Genetics this week said that three of its tests have been included in the National Institutes of Health's Genetic Testing Registry, a searchable online registry of genetic tests. The company's tests now in the registry are FHACT, a FISH-based HPV-associated cancer test; UroGenRA-Kidney, a CGH microarray test for diagnosing and subtyping renal cell carcinoma; and MatBA, a panel for mature B-cell neoplasms.

NeoGenomics said in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that an amended credit facility between it, Path Labs, and CapitalSource Finance dated April 26, 2010, has been terminated at NeoGenomics' option. All amounts owed by the Ft. Myers, Fla.-based cancer genetics diagnostics firm under the facility were paid in full before the termination of the credit agreement, it said. The company did not disclose in its SEC document the amount of the credit facility. In its first quarter 2010 financial results announcement, however, it said that it had renegotiated a credit facility to provide the company up to $5 million in working capital.

NeoGenomics recently announced it raised $34.6 million in net proceeds from a public offering of its stock. It July, it bought Path Labs for $6 million.

BioConsortia opened its headquarters and R&D laboratories in Davis, Calif. The microbial consortia for improving plant traits and increasing crop yields said it has developed technology that links plant phenotype with high-throughput microbial screening and DNA sequencing, facilitating the rapid discovery of teams of microbes that improve fertilizer performance and plant growth, "and positively impact many other crop traits from abiotic stress tolerance to enhancing plant metabolite expression." The new R&D labs contain microbiology and molecular biology labs, growth chambers, and genomic analysis resources.

StartX-QB3 Labs, a life science laboratory to help early stage medical and hardware technology firms transition from academia to industry, has launched. The 2,000-square-foot facility is jointly operated by StartX, a non-profit technology accelerator program affiliated with Stanford University, and QB3, an institute supporting scientific innovation at the University of California, San Francisco, UC-Berkeley, and UC-Santa Cruz. StartX-QB3 Labs is housed in StartX's complex in Palo Alto, Calif., and has been designed to support up to 20 life science startups. It will be outfitted with equipment including fume hoods, a molecular biology core, a tissue culture core, an autoclave, a glasswash, workbenches, and a hardware prototype room. Among the firms that have signed up for use in the space is Nirmidas Biotech, a Stanford spinout developing biosensing technology, which recently raised $2 million in seed funding.

Toronto-based molecular diagnostics shop Proteocyte Diagnostics is collaborating with Mitacs Accelerate to conduct an economic evaluation of Proteocyte's Straticyte test for the detection of precancerous oral lesions at high risk of becoming cancerous. Mitacs, a Canadian not-for-profit runs the Accelerate program, in which graduate students and post-doctoral fellows conduct short-term research for companies. Earlier this month Proteocyte announced it closed on a funding round that raised C$605,000 (US$554,000).

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