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In Brief This Week: Fluidigm, Verinata; Boehringer Ingelheim, Structural Genomics Consortium; Danaher; Sigma-Aldrich; More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Fluidigm said that it could receive up to an additional $3.2 million in proceeds from its minority stake in Verinata, acquired by Illumina in February for up to $450 million. In March Fluidigm received proceeds of $3.1 million in exchange for its ownership in Verinata, resulting in a gain of $1.8 million, it said in its Form 10-Q filed this week. Fluidigm added that it could receive the additional $3.2 million in proceeds if "certain milestone payments become payable."

Boehringer Ingelheim has joined the Structural Genomics Consortium, which seeks to encourage research into protein structures and epigenetics for the development of new therapies for previously incurable diseases. As a member of the consortium, Boehringer will provide funding for precompetitive drug research.

Danaher's board approved a regular quarterly dividend of $.025 per share, payable on July 26 to shareholders of record on June 28.

Sigma-Aldrich's board approved a quarterly cash dividend of $.215 per share, payable on June 14 to shareholders of record on May 31.

Synthetic biology company Intrexon, which recently raised $150 million in a preferred investment round, this week realigned its industry markets to focus on four sectors: Health, Food, Energy, and Environment. The market alignment is aimed at accelerating business development across all of the company's key market sectors using its exclusive channel collaboration model, it said.

German analytical instruments company Analytik Jena said that revenues in its fiscal second quarter were down 1 percent year over year. For the three months ended March 31, the company recorded €22.6 million ($29.7 million) in revenues, compared to €22.9 million in the second quarter of 2012.

Profit during the quarter was €404,000, or €.06 per share, compared to a profit of €585,000, or €.09 per share, a year ago.

R&D expenses of €2.0 million were up 5 percent from €1.9 million a year ago, while SG&A costs narrowed 6 percent to €1.7 million from €1.8 million.

Firefly BioWorks awarded three grants to researchers in the microRNA field. The winners of the Firefly Frontiers Grants are Charles Vanderburg of Massachusetts General Hospital; Elena Flowers of the University of California, San Francisco; and Matthias Hackl of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna. Each winner receives $10,000 to be used fo Firefly's products.

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

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The Scan

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.

Analysis of Endogenous Parvoviral Elements Found Within Animal Genomes

Researchers at PLOS Biology have examined the coevolution of endogenous parvoviral elements and animal genomes to gain insight into using the viruses as gene therapy vectors.

Saliva Testing Can Reveal Mosaic CNVs Important in Intellectual Disability

An Australian team has compared the yield of chromosomal microarray testing of both blood and saliva samples for syndromic intellectual disability in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.