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In Brief This Week: Quest; Abbott; Siemens; Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York Genome Center; Sigma-Aldrich; Waters; More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Quest Diagnostics completed the sale of its HemoCue diagnostics product business to Danaher company Radiometer for about $300 million. The deal was originally announced in February as part of Quest's plans to divest certain non-core assets to focus on its diagnostic information services business. Quest will use proceeds from the sale to repurchase about $300 million of its shares as part of a buyback program, it said.


Abbott's Architect Galectin-3 assay for assessing the prognosis of patients diagnosed with chronic heart failure has received CE Marking. The test was developed in partnership with BG Medicine and runs on Abbott's Architect immunochemistry platform.

Abbott this week also introduced the IMDx Flu A/B and RSV assay in Europe after receiving CE Marking for it. The assay, developed by Intelligent Medical Devices for the Abbott m2000 molecular diagnostics analyzer, detects influenza A, influenza B, and respiratory syncytial virus. IMDx plans to seek US Food and Drug Administration approval for the molecular diagnostic test later this year.


The FDA said that Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics is conducting a "voluntary corrective action" for the MicroCel 500 and MicroCel 300 buffer chambers for its OpenGene DNA Sequencing System. Some of the buffer chambers have the potential to leak buffer while in use, causing premature failure with heat damage to the buffer chamber and the long-read tower, and posing a hazard to the operator.


The Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University is joining the New York Genome Center as its 12th Institutional Founding Member.


Sigma Life Science, a business of Sigma-Aldrich, has signed an agreement to offer the European Collection of Cell Cultures portfolio of human and animal cell cultures from the Culture Collections of Public Health England. The cell cultures will be available through Sigma-Aldrich's website. Sigma Life Science has exclusive global distribution rights for the products, excluding the UK, Australia, and Japan. Sigma and the Public Health England will continue to jointly distribute the ECACC cell lines in the UK.


XDx has started patient enrollment for its Outcomes AlloMap Registry, a multiyear, multicenter registry for assessing the long-term clinical outcomes in about 2,000 heart transplant patients being managed with serial AlloMap testing as part of heart transplant rejection surveillance. AlloMap is XDx's FDA-cleared test to aid in determining whether a patient is at risk for a heart transplant rejection.


Waters has chosen the St. John's Research Institute in Bangalore, India, for its Centers of Innovation Program for research into structural proteomics. It is the first institution in that country to receive such designation by Waters.


Microsaic Systems signed its second agreement to provide its miniature mass spectrometer, the Microsaic 4000 MiD, as an original equipment manufacturer. The UK firm did not identify the other party in the deal, but said it is a global, non-exclusive marketing and sale agreement covering the system as a standalone instrument for use in specified applications. It includes commitments to minimum quantities during an initial period of 42 months. Shipments under the deal are expected to begin during the third quarter. Microsaic inked its first OEM deal with Biotage during the first half of 2012.


908 Devices and In-Q-Tel are partnering to develop new mass spectrometry analyzers. The technology is being funded in part by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, an IQT customer agency. 908 Devices said the project will contribute to its efforts aimed at developing handheld mass spec tools for the detection and analysis of hazardous chemicals.


Pressure BioSciences wants to withdraw its Form S-1 filed in December 2011 to offer up to $8 million, the company said in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. It said that it will not use a registration statement for a public offering at this time. It added that the registration statement has not been declared effective and no securities were issued or sold pursuant to the registration statement or the prospectus connected to the offering.


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

The Scan

Should've Been Spotted Sooner

Scientists tell the Guardian that SARS-CoV-2 testing issues at a UK lab should have been noticed earlier.

For Martian Fuel

Researchers have outlined a plan to produce rocket fuel on Mars that uses a combination of sunlight, carbon dioxide, frozen water, cyanobacteria, and engineered E. coli, according to Gizmodo.

To Boost Rapid Testing

The Washington Post writes that new US programs aim to boost the availability of rapid at-home SARS-CoV-2 tests.

PNAS Papers on Strawberry Evolution, Cell Cycle Regulators, False-Positive Triplex Gene Editing

In PNAS this week: strawberry pan-genome, cell cycle-related roles for MDM2 and MDMX, and more.