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In Brief This Week: Roche; Agilent; Sigma-Aldrich; Bruker; Eurofins Scientific; Thermo Fisher; Accelerate Diagnostics; and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Roche is investing CHF 450 million ($462 million) during the next three years to establish a diagnostic manufacturing facility at the Suzhou Industrial Park in Suzhou, China. The new facility is being built to meet growing demand for diagnostic tests in the country and in the Asia-Pacific region, and will focus on immunochemistry and clinical chemistry tests. The facility will employ more than 600 people in the coming years, Roche said.

On Oct. 31 Agilent Technologies resolved a matter with the US Department of Justice regarding pricing irregularities related to certain sales of electronic measurement products to US government agencies and agreed to pay $849,678, the company said in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Agilent approached the US Department of Defense's Inspector General with a proposal to resolve possible overcharges to US government purchases resulting from the sales and discussed the matter with DOJ. Agilent recently spun off its EMG business into Keysight Technologies.

Sigma-Aldrich has completed the acquisition of Cell Marque, a provider of in vitroantibody reagents and kits. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Sigma-Aldrich, which is in the process of being bought by Merck KGaA for $17 billion, said the deal is anticipated to be neutral to mildly accretive to EPS in 2015.

Bruker completed the divestiture of its GC-Single quadrupole mass spectrometer assets to Techcomp Europe, a subsidiary of Techcomp Holdings. The sale by Bruker is part of the company's plans to sell parts of its Chemical and Applied Markets division after determining that business was not sustainable.

Eurofins Scientific said it is acquiring SF Analytical Laboratories for an undisclosed amount. SFA was founded in 1900 and is based in New Berlin, Wis. It is an independent commercial testing laboratory with capabilities in food microbiology, food chemistry, consultative analysis, and environment chemistry. Eurofins Scientific said that the deal expands its presence in the US. The deal is expected to close by the end of the month.

Thermo Fisher Scientific's board has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.15 per share payable on Jan. 15, 2015 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 15.

Accelerate Diagnostics said that its third quarter revenues increased 23 percent year over year to $16,000 from $13,000. All revenues for both periods derived from licensing revenues and royalties. The company's net loss for the three months ended Sept. 30 was $8.8 million, or $.20 per share, compared to a net loss of $3.8 million, or $.10 per share, in the year-ago period.

Its R&D spending more than doubled year over year to $5.9 million from $2.7 million, while its SG&A spending increased sharply to $2.6 million from $1.1 million. The company finished the quarter with $57.9 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Earlier in the week, Accelerate Dx announced a partnership with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Rapid Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing Laboratory to develop faster methods to analyze biological threats.

Cambio has become the UK distributor for BioPointe Scientific, a manufacturer of consumable laboratory products, including products used in PCR-based research. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

TriLink BioTechnologies and inVentis Technologies have signed a distribution deal to market TriLink's nucleic acid-based products in India. The deal covers TriLink's stocked and custom nucleotides, oligonuclelotides, and mRNA, as well as the CleanAmp Hot Start PCR products. Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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