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In Brief This Week: Fluidigm, Life Tech; Bio-Rad; Viracor-IBT Laboratories; PositiveID; ArrayIt; Peaccel, Polyclone; Cofactor Genomics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Fluidigm said in its Form 10-Q last week that it will pay Life Technologies $1.0 million as part of a cross-license agreement reached between Fluidigm and Life Tech's Applied Biosystems business. Life Tech notified Fluidigm in mid-October that the payment is due and payable under the license agreement. Fluidigm said that it does not believe the conditions triggering the payment obligation have been met, but it will make the payment "to avoid what would be, in our view, an improper termination of our license to certain Life patent filings under the agreement, which could subject our relevant product lines to risks associated with patent infringement litigation."

Fluidigm intends to dispute Life's claim to the contingent payment. In connection with the planned payment, Fluidigm accrued a loss contingency of $1.0 million during its third quarter.

Fitch Ratings affirmed the ratings of Bio-Rad Laboratories, including a BBB- Issuer Default Rating, and said the rating outlook for Bio-Rad is stable. In addition to affirming the IDR, Fitch affirmed Bio-Rad's ratings on its senior secured bank facility at BBB-, and its senior unsecured notes at BBB-. The ratings apply to about $425 million of debt as of Sept. 30.

Viracor-IBT Laboratories has signed a definitive agreement to buy all assets associated with the laboratory operations of the non-profit organization National Institute of Transplantation. The deal includes the purchase of NIT's serology and HLA lab operations, and is expected to close in early December, pending regulatory approval. NIT performs serology testing on donor blood to determine the acceptability of a donor's organs and tissue to suitable recipients. Its histocompatibility and genomics labs test donor/recipient pairs for HLS genetic compatibility. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

PositiveID has sold its stake in Veriteq to Hudson Bay Master Fund for $750,000. Veriteq develops radio frequency identification technologies for implantable medical device identification and radiation dose measurement technologies. PositiveID also entered into a letter agreement with Veriteq under which PositiveID will receive a warrant to purchase 300,000 shares of Veriteq's stock at $2.84 per share.

Arrayit is using Diagnostic Oncology Contract Research Organization to help it implement ISO and CLIA registration and certification. Specifically, DOCRO will help Arrayit obtain ISO 9001, ISO 13485, and CLIA certification. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based microarray firm said that its ISO and CLIA-certified laboratories are scheduled to open on Jan. 1, 2014.

Peaccel signed a memorandum of understanding with Polyclone Bioservices to use Polyclone's in silico enzyme engineering framework for its protein engineering services. Collaborations covered by the MOU will focus on offering enzyme engineering services "to optimize enzymes for better activity, stability, and specificity under process conditions." Financial and other terms were not disclosed.

Cofactor Genomics opened its new $3.8 million headquarters and laboratory in St. Louis. Cofactor purchased and renovated a 10,000-square-foot space and plans to hire 24 new employees, which would triple its current employment, it said. Cofactor is a contract organization that provides DNA sequencing, analysis, and experimental design services to clients.

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

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