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In Brief This Week: Qiagen; Accelr8, Novartis; PerkinElmer; Bruker; Med BioGene; Bar Harbor BioTechnology

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Qiagen this week said that it is supply its ESE-Quant Tube Scanners as part of an international pilot project to use molecular testing in the field on animals. Qiagen said that it will initially supply up to 50 of the instruments to national health authorities in 35 emerging countries in Africa, Asia, and South America. The three-year project will evaluate a testing system for detecting Avian Flu (H5N1) in poultry, Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) in sheep and goats, and Contagious Bovine Pleuro-Pneumonia (CBPP), also known as lung plague, in cattle.

Accelr8 disclosed in a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing this week that Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics is evaluating the firm's BACcel system for identifying the type and quantity of bacterial pathogens in clinical specimens. The Novartis unit will continue evaluating the technology under an amended agreement now scheduled to terminate on June 20, 2011. Novartis will pay Accelr8 an undisclosed fee for the evaluation.

Accelr8 had announced in June that an unnamed global diagnostics company was evaluating the system, but the firm had not disclosed until this week the name of that firm.

PerkinElmer has completed the sale of its Illumination and Detection Solutions business to Excelitas Technologies, an affiliate of Veritas Capital Fund Management, for $500 million in cash.

Bruker said this week that the Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris (APHP) has selected its IVD MALDI Biotyper as their exclusive MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry-based microbial identification tool. APHP is the association of all 44 public hospitals in Paris and is the largest public health network in France.

Med BioGene reported this week a sharp increase in its nine-month loss to C$2.8 million (US$2.8 million), or C$.04 per share, from C$1.6 million, or C$.03 per share, year over year. The Vancouver, BC-based molecular diagnostics firm reported no revenues for either period.

Last month, the firm said that it had taken steps to reduce costs, including cutting staff, as its cash on hand shrinks. As of Sept. 30, Med BioGene held cash and cash equivalents of C$234,952.

Bar Harbor BioTechnology announced today that it plans to launch a new division focused on molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine. The Trenton, Maine-based firm said that it plans to launch its first test to predict a person's susceptibility of developing a disease — colorectal cancer — in January 2011.