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In Brief This Week: InformedDNA; Illumina; Agilent; Sygnis; SQI; Health Opportunity through Partnership in Education, Washington National Insurance Company; Akesogen

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – InformedDNA added three cancer centers to its provider network to offer genetic counseling and risk assessment to patients wanting information about inherited cancer risk. The new additions are Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Goodyear, Ariz.; Cookeville Regional Medical Center in Cookeville, Tenn., and Holland Hospital in Holland, Mich. InformedDNA provides genetic counseling services to 24 centers in nine states, it said.

Illumina has been added to the Nasdaq-100 in the annual re-ranking of the 100 largest non-financial stocks listed on the Nasdaq exchange. The index is re-ranked every December. Along with Illumina, the DISH Network; NXP Semiconductors; TripAdvisor; and Tractor Supply Company were added to the Nasdaq-100. They replace Fossil Group; Microchip Technology; Nuance Communications; Sears Holdings; and Dentsply International.

Agilent Technologies said in its Form 10-K that it expects to incur pre-separation expenses of $100 million in its Fiscal Year 2014. In September, it announced plans to separate into two publicly traded companies, one focused on the life science and diagnostics business, the other on the electronic measurement business. Agilent hopes to complete the separation by the end of calendar 2014.

Sygnis has raised €3.1 million ($4.2 million) in gross proceeds from a private placement and rights offering. The company previously said it raised €2.7 million, but said this week it had a second tranche of financing, which was "considerably oversubscribed." Proceeds will be used to fund its operations and grow the business.

SQI has entered into a product development and services agreement with an unnamed pharmaceutical company based in Irvine, Calif. SQI will build a customized 6-plex anti-drug antibody assay to detect and measure immunogenic responses to a drug in the drug firm's pipeline. Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Health Opportunity through Partnership in Education and the Washington National Insurance Company have donated $50,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to support pediatric cancer research. Specifically, the donation will support the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project launched in 2010 by St. Jude and Washington University in St. Louis.

Akesogen has moved to an expanded location in Gwinnett County, Georgia. The genomics and biorepository firm relocated to a 13,727-square-foot facility in Peachtree Corners, more than tripling its square footage, it said, adding it expects to add 10 additional employees in 2014.

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

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.