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In Brief This Week: Pacific Biosciences; GeneNews; Pathwork Diagnostics; Proteros Biostructures

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Pacific Biosciences has been added to the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index.

Nasdaq's semi-annual re-ranking has resulted in six firms being added to the Biotech Index, though PacBio is the only life science tools firm among the new members. The new Index is effective prior to market open on Monday, May 23.

GeneNews this week said that it has obtained approval from shareholders for its early warrant exercise incentive program, which it announced last month. The firm said that the program commenced on May 17 and will end on June 8. If all warrants eligible are exercised during that period, GeneNews will receive gross proceeds of up to C$4.1 million (US$4.2 million), while issuing 17.2 million common shares and 17.2 million incentive warrants.

Pathwork Diagnostics this week said that SelectHealth, the health insurance arm of Intermountain Healthcare, will provide coverage for the firm's Pathwork Tissue of Origin Test. The test uses microarray-based RNA profiling to measure similarities between a patient's RNA expression patterns and the expression patterns in a database of 15 tumor types — such as metastatic, poorly differentiated, and undifferentiated cases — that were diagnosed according to the current clinical and pathological practice. The US Food and Drug Administration initially cleared the test for marketing in 2008.

Proteros Biostructures will provide crystallography services for certain drug discovery projects being undertaken by Hutchison MediPharma, under an agreement announced this week. Proteros said it will support Hutchison's discovery research with Protein-Ligand structure analysis this year and beyond. Additional terms were not disclosed.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.