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In Brief This Week: PerkinElmer; Life Tech; Waters; Hologic; PathGroup; NanoString; More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – PerkinElmer this week announced the establishment of direct operations in Israel, headquartered near Tel Aviv. Through its new Israel base, PerkinElmer will commercialize and support its life sciences and technologies, analytical sciences, and laboratory services business offerings.

The company's board separately last week declared a quarterly dividend of $.07 per share, payable on Nov. 8 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Oct. 18.

Life Technologies opened its first state-of-the-art forensics laboratory, located in Gurgaon, India. The lab will provide high-throughput DNA profiling services in India. The lab is equipped with DNA testing systems and services to be provided will include paternity testing, kinship testing, DNA profiling for database generation, and forensic DNA analysis. Life Tech operates as Invitrogen Bioservices India in that country.

Waters is sponsoring a new two-year postdoctoral clinical chemistry fellowship at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Fellows will receive training in classical clinical chemistry, laboratory administration, and research practices as preparation for directorship posts at medical schools and hospital-based clinical chemistry labs. Waters will provide funding to cover salary and research expenses for the fellows.

Hologic has completed a repricing of its senior secured tranche B term loan facility under its credit and guaranty agreement dated Aug. 1, 2012.

The company, several of its domestic subsidiaries, Goldman Sachs Bank and the lenders have entered into a refinancing amendment to the credit agreement, which refinances Hologic's Term Loan B with a maturity date of Aug. 1, 2019. Hologic will receive a 75 basis point reduction in the interest rate as of the closing date of the credit agreement amendment. Certain covenants in the agreement have also been amended to increase Hologic's capacity to repurchase shares of its stock and to issue dividends. Hologic said it is incurring a one-time non-cash charge to earnings in the fourth quarter of about $4 million in order to write off certain deferred financing costs. The principal amount outstanding on the Term B Loan is roughly $1.285 billion, Hologic said.

Pathology service provider PathGroup has opened a new facility dedicated to molecular testing, in conjunction with the start of new service offerings in next-generation sequencing and cytogenomic array for the genetic profiling of cancer patients. Those services will begin late in the third quarter. The new facility will be able to run molecular assays for oncology, infectious disease, and women's health, and will include a CLIA-validated lab for test development and implementation, PathGroup said.

The company told GenomeWeb Daily News in an e-mail that at least 25 percent of PathGroup's 68,000 square feet of lab space will be devoted to NGS and other forms of nucleic acid analyses. The lab will be equipped with five NGS instruments from Illumina and Life Technologies.

NanoString Technologies launched an early access program for nCounter Elements, a line of general purpose reagents developed specifically for translational research and clinical labs. nCounter Elements is a digital molecular barcoding technology that allows researchers to assemble their custom assays using standard sets of barcodes provided by NanoString and probes purchased from an oligonucleotide manufacturers. The reagents are available for use in developing LDTs, pursuant to a licensing agreement to be offered by NanoString.

Early access customers will receive the first shipments of nCounter Elements GPRs in the third quarter.

Science Exchange has launched a program for the independent validation of thousands of commercial antibodies. The program aims to help researchers identify high quality antibodies, improving the quality of research results while reducing wasted resources spent on ineffective antibodies.

Rigaku acquired the crystallization reagent and consumables business of Emerald Bio. The deal includes Emerald's Wizard screens. Both firms also will collaborate to develop new products and solutions aimed at protein science. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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