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In Brief This Week: PerkinElmer; Pacific Biosciences; Roche; CHDI Foundation, GNS Healthcare; Proteome Sciences; More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – PerkinElmer said in its Form 10-Q that it reduced its headcount by 152 employees in the third quarter as a result of a restructuring plan. It also took a pre-tax restructuring charge of $13.2 million in the quarter related to the workforce reduction. The company approved its restructuring plan to realign resources to emphasize growth initiatives, it said, and took a charge of $6.9 million in the Human Health segment, and a charge of $6.2 million in the Environmental Health segment.


Pacific Biosciences said in its Form 10-Q last week that between Oct. 1 and Nov. 3 it raised net proceeds of $11.1 million through an at-the-market offering, a type of offering in which shares are offered at the prevailing market prices. The company issued 1.8 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $6.41 per share through the offering. PacBio previously said that it raised $20.6 million in net proceeds in the first half of 2014 through an at-the-market offering.


Roche will provide technology and make an investment in LabCentral, a shared laboratory space for high-potential life science and biotech startups. The firms declined to disclose the amount of Roche's investment. In a statement, they said that Roche will provide instruments that will "expand capacity for LabCentral resident companies performing high-throughput DNA studies." Roche is supplying a MagNA Pure 96 robotic workstation for the automated purification of nucleic acids, a LightCycler 96 Real-time PCR system, and an automated reagent freezer.


The CHDI Foundation, a research organization dedicated to Huntington's disease, is continuing a collaboration with GNS Healthcare to accelerate the discovery of new drugs that can slow down the progression of the disease, GNS said. The multi-year project leverages genomic data and computational modeling to identify genetic and molecular targets. GNS will apply its inference engine and machine-learning technology called REFS to the CHDI dataset, which comprises genomic, molecular, phenotypic, and other data. The collaboration builds on a previous project between the partners to develop predictive computer models of the molecular pathology of Huntington's.


Proteome Sciences said that the start dates for several contracts have continued to be delayed, and as a result, revenues for full-year 2014 are anticipated to be below 2013 levels and to fall short of market expectations. The delayed revenues are expected to be reflected in 2015, the company added. Proteome Sciences Chief Executive Christopher Pearce referenced the delays last month when the company said revenues through the first six months of 2014 were down 12 percent year over year, as ProteoMonitor reported.


Renaissance RX, a pharmacogenomic testing and advanced toxicology laboratory, said that TPG Growth has made a "significant investment" of an undisclosed amount in the firm. TPG Growth, the middle market and growth equity investment platform of private investment firm TPG, has also acquired a minority stake in Renaissance RX. Last month, Renaissance RX said it received an $8 million investment, allowing it to expand its operations in New Orleans.


Delta Genomics, a full service DNA facility that provides genetic testing to livestock producers and research organizations to improve selection decisions and increase the rate of genetic gain, has spun out of the University of Alberta's business incubation program. The company offers biobanking, genotyping, and sequencing services, and was created as the service arm of Livestock Gentec with support from the Canadian government and the University of Alberta.


Interleukin Genetics' third quarter revenues rose 13 percent year over year to $472,151 from $419,041 a year ago. Genetic testing service revenues grew to $439,400 from $411,557, while other revenues increased to $32,751 from $7,484. The company had a net loss of $1.5 million, or $.01 per share, in Q3 2014, compared to a net loss of $2.2 million, or $.02 per share, in the year-ago period. Its R&D costs were up 50 percent year over year to $242,142 from $161,353, but its SG&A costs were down 35 percent to $1.3 million from $2.0 million. As of Sept. 30, the Waltham, Mass.-based firm had $2.6 million in cash and cash equivalents.


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

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.