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In Brief This Week: Illumina; Thermo Fisher Scientific; Accler8; Precision BioSciences, Cellectis; BG Medicine; More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Illumina disclosed in its quarterly filing with the US Securities and exchange Commission that it paid a total consideration of $95.5 million for its acquisition of BlueGnome in July. At the time, Illumina didn't disclose the purchase price.

In the Form 10-Q Illumina said the consideration includes $88 million in initial cash payments and $7.5 million in fair value of contingent cash consideration of up to $20 million based on the achievement by December 28, 2014 of certain revenue based milestones. In addition, it said it agreed to pay up to $20.0 million to BlueGnome shareholders contingent upon the retention of certain key employees and certain other criteria.

In a separate announcement this week at the American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting in San Francisco Illumina named the winners of its MiSeq grant program. The awardees are Ramunas Stepanauskas, from the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine, for sequencing single cells from unculturable strains of bacteria in the dark ocean; Stephen Doyle, from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, for investigating drug resistance in the causative agent of African river blindness; and Karin Haack, from the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, for targeted resequencing of genes implicated in cardiovascular disease.


Thermo Fisher Scientific this week said that it board of directors has authorized a quarterly cash dividend of $.15 per share payable on Jan. 15 to shareholders of record as o Dec. 17.

It also said that the board had authorized the repurchase of an additional $1 billion of shares of the company's common stock on the open market or in negotiated transactions. The new repurchase authorization is effective Jan. 1. As of Oct. 1, the company had $350 million remaining under its existing share repurchase authorization, which expires at the end of this year.


Accelr8 Technology said that it will change the company's fiscal year end from July 31 to Dec. 31.


Precision BioSciences has filed another patent infringement suit against Cellectis, saying that the French firm's sale of certain engineered meganucleases infringes its US Patent No. 8,304,222. This is the 11th patent Precision Bio has claimed Cellectis infringes.


BG Medicine this week said that the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has assigned a payment rate for its BGM Galectin-3 test under new analyte-specific Current Procedural Terminology code 82777 effective Jan. 1, 2013. BG said the payment rate will be crosswalked to the code under which the test is currently paid.


Nimbus Discovery said this week that it has signed a "privileged partnership agreement" with Proteros Biostructures, extending an existing collaboration. The pact provides Nimbus with preferential access to Proteros' new Gallery Structures, technologies, and expertise for drug discovery efforts.


Japanese firm Human Metabolome Technologies has opened its first US office in Cambridge, Mass. The firm expects to employ up to 20 people at the new office and lab by 2015. The company offers metabolome analysis services, called Carcinoscope, which was specifically designed for cancer research, and another service called Basic Scan for more global, general-purpose metabolomics research, including biomarker discovery and companion diagnostics, it said.


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

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.