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In Brief This Week: Danaher; Rosetta Genomics; Monsanto, Divergence; Celera; GenomeQuest; Amoy Diagnostics; Univercell-Biosolutions

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Danaher this week said that its board of directors has approved a quarterly dividend of $.02 per share. The dividend is payable on April 29 to shareholders of record on March 25.

Rosetta Genomics said that its Rosetta Green subsidiary has closed its initial public offering in Israel, raising gross proceeds of 21.9 million NIS ($6.1 million). Rosetta Green aims to use microRNA technology in agricultural, industrial, and clean technology applications, with a focus on improving feedstocks for biofuels and crops for agriculture.

Monsanto this week announced that it has acquired Divergence, a privately-held St. Louis-based genomics and informatics technologies firm focused on agricultural applications. Divergence's current focus is on parasitic nematodes, including developing biotechnology traits for nematode control and nematicides with novel modes of action and superior safety profiles, said Monsanto. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Celera has entered into an amended lease agreement for its offices and manufacturing facilities in Alameda, Calif., the firm disclosed in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The amended lease runs from May 1, 2011 to April 30, 2016. Celera has the option to extend the lease for two additional five-year periods. Under terms of the amended agreement, Celera's annual base rent for the first year is around $860,000, rising to around $970,000 in the final year. In addition, the firm has a one-time right to terminate the lease on April 30, 2014, which would trigger an undisclosed early termination fee.

GenomeQuest has joined the Personalized Medicine Coalition. The Westborough, Mass.-based bioinformatics firm said that it also will sponsor the personalized medicine conference at Harvard Medical School.

Amoy Diagnostics announced that it has received CE Mark approval for its EGFR, KRAS and BRAF mutation detection kits. AmoyDx noted that it is a supplier of EGFR mutation detection kits for AstraZeneca in China. The firms are collaborating to train oncologists, thoracic surgeons, pathologists, and other hospital staff in China to use AmoyDx’s EGFR mutation detection kits to profile EGFR status in non-small cell lung cancer samples.

Univercell-Biosolutions has taken a non-exclusive worldwide license to iPS Academia Japan's induced pluripotent stem cell patent portfolio. The agreement provides Toulouse, France-based Univercell-Biosolutions with the right to offer cardiac cells to the pharmaceutical industry while "avoiding the regulatory complexity associated with the use of embryonic stem cells," the firm said this week.

The Scan

Two J&J Doses

Johnson & Johnson says two doses of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provides increased protection against symptomatic COVID-19, CNN reports.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Response in Kids

The Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a lower-dose format appears to generate an immune response among children, according to the Washington Post.

Chicken Changes to Prevent Disease

The Guardian writes that researchers are looking at gene editing chickens to help prevent future pandemics.

PNAS Papers on Siberian Dog Ancestry, Insect Reproduction, Hippocampal Neurogenesis

In PNAS this week: ancestry and admixture among Siberian dogs, hormone role in fruit fly reproduction, and more.