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In Brief This Week: Luminex, Illumina, Trovagene, and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Japan's Central Social Insurance Medical Council this week approved a recommendation from the country’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare to reimburse for Luminex’s Gram-Positive Blood Culture test and the Gram-Negative Blood Culture test. Reimbursement for the two tests by MHLW went into effect on June 1. Japan’s Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices Agency cleared the panels in 2016.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology and Illumina announced this week that they have jointly contributed variant interpretations of 6,000 associations of somatic genetic alterations to the CIViC (Clinical Interpretation of Variants in Cancer) database. This donation includes close to 2,000 predictive associations that were curated by Illumina for ASCO’s Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry clinical study. These associations link more than 500 variants extracted from hundreds of publications to 14 drugs in the trial across 79 types of cancer.  Additionally, this donation includes associations referred to as prognostic by the Association for Molecular Pathology guidelines for more than 3,200 variants extracted by Illumina from hundreds of publications.  

The Nasdaq has written to Trovagene, telling the firm that it is not in compliance with a listing rule requiring the minimum bid price to be at least $1 per share for 30 consecutive days, Trovagene said this week in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Trovagene has until Nov. 27 to regain compliance, but it may be eligible for an additional 180 days grace period if it meets other initial listing standards and provides Nasdaq written notice of its intention to meet the $1 per bid listing requirement by undergoing a reverse stock split.  

Separately, Trovagene said in an SEC document that Oxford Finance and Silicon Valley Bank have taken $16.6 million from the firm’s bank accounts in order to satisfy the conditions of a loan to Trovagene. Oxford and SVB notified the firm on June 1 that it had defaulted on the loan dated June 30, 2014, Trovagene said. As a result of the banks’ actions, all of Trovagene’s outstanding obligations under the load have been satisfied, and all liens on the firm’s assets created as part of the loan have been or will be extinguished and released.

Abbott’s board of directors this week declared a quarterly common dividend of $.27 per share, payable on Aug. 15 to shareholders of record at the close of business on July 14.

HTG Molecular Diagnostics this week amended and restated an IVD test development and component supply agreement with Illumina to extend the agreement term and increase the number of in vitro diagnostic test kits that may be developed using Illumina’s sequencing technology. No further details were disclosed.

In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared on the GenomeWeb site.

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.