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In Brief This Week: IntelligentMDx; Techne; Qiagen; Horizon Discovery; Penn Genome Frontiers Institute

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – IntelligentMDx has received the CE Mark for its herpes simplex virus molecular test. The MDx HSV-1/2 runs on the Abbott m2000 platform and detects HSV viral DNA and differentiates HSV-1 and HSV-2 in male and female genital or oral lesions and cerebral spinal fluid.

Investment bank William Blair & Co. has initiated coverage of research reagents provider Techne with a Market Perform rating.

"Techne is a well-run company with a robust brand reputation operating in a highly defensible market; we believe that some valuation premium is warranted given visibility into future organic revenue growth in the mid-single digits and high consistency of cash flow generation," analyst Amanda Murphy said in a statement. "Given continued pressures in the academic market (30 percent of sales), a deteriorating environment in Europe (also 30 percent of sales), and the company's relative concentration within the European markets, we do not see much room for earnings upside or multiple expansion in the near term. Thus, we are initiating coverage with a Market Perform rating."

The AMDeC consortium of academic medical research institutes said this week that it has signed an agreement to offer to its members pathway-focused profiling tools from Qiagen. Products under the agreement include RT-PCR assays, miScript miRNA PCR Arrays, qBiomarker Cancer Mutation PCR Arrays and Assays, and the EpiTect Methyl II PCR System, among other products.

Horizon Discovery said that it has established a Center of Excellence for gene editing at the University of Leicester, UK. The program will focus on the creation of isogenic cell lines that contain 'risk' or 'protective' SNPs associated with cardiovascular disease identified from GWAS studies.

The Penn Genome Frontiers Institute said this week that it will launch a four-year project to increase genomics literacy in high schools. Three Philadelphia-area science teachers will design a genomics unit that uses a case study approach to cover basic genomics concepts and laboratory techniques. PGFI also will host a series of professional development workshops for teachers interested in incorporating these genomics lessons into their own classrooms. The project is supported by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.

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