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In Brief This Week: Roche; Hologic; Agilent Technologies; Charles River Laboratories; Gentronix; Bruker, Netzsch; RayBiotech; Hendrix Genetics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Presenting at an investors meeting in London this week, Roche said this week that is has more than 200 companion diagnostic projects ongoing across its pharma and diagnostics units. "More than 60 percent of our pharmaceutical pipeline projects are couples with the development of companion diagnostics in order to make treatments more effective," Roche CEO Severin Schwan said.

The firm also noted that approximately 50 percent of its R&D budget is allocated to oncology drugs and diagnostics.

A jury this week ruled in favor of Smith & Nephew in a lawsuit brought against Hologic for infringement of two US patents covering surgical instruments that cut and remove tissue. The jury awarded Smith & Nephew $4 million in damages for lost profits. Hologic General Counsel Mark Casey said in a statement that the firm is "disappointed in and strongly disagree[s] with the verdict in this case." He added that Hologic will continue to sell its MyoSure product, which was at the center of the lawsuit, and may pursue an appeal of the jury's decision.

Agilent Technologies this week opened a new Customer Applications and Training Center in South Korea for its bio-analytical instruments including its mass spectrometry and spectroscopy instruments. The center is aimed at researchers conducting environmental, agricultural, materials science, and semiconductor research.

Charles River Laboratories has opened a new biomedical diagnostic testing facility in Wilmington, Mass., the firm announced this week. The 60,000-square-foot R&D services facility expands the firm's capabilities for clinical chemistry, hematology, biomarker assay development, and immunoassay services.

Gentronix said this week that it has signed its first contracted screening program in Japan with pharmaceutical firm Kowa Co. Ltd. Manchester, UK-based Gentronix will conduct genotoxicity screening of compounds for Kowa using its GreenScreen HC assay technology.

Bruker this week sold its thermal analysis instruments business in Japan to Netzsch Japan. Bruker AXS, a Bruker division based in Yokohama, Japan, had previously distributed Netzsch's thermal analysis products in that country in parallel with the Bruker's thermal analysis instruments.

RayBiotech this week said that it has established formal compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Laboratory Practices, and it has constructed and recently launched a new GLP-compliant lab dedicated to ELISA and antibody array biomarker analysis services for pharmaceutical, biotech, and academic customers.

Hendrix Genetics, a Dutch animal and aquaculture breeding firm, said this week that it has opened a new genomics lab in France to serve as the central hub for its molecular work in breeding.

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

The Scan

Transplant Tests Edited Pig Kidneys

The Associated Press reports a University of Alabama-Birmingham team transplanted genetically modified pig kidneys into a brain-dead human patient.

UK Changes Some Gene-Edited Crop Rules

A new law may enable gene-edited crops to be sold in the UK within about five years, New Scientist says.

Pill Works Against Omicron in Lab

Pfizer's antiviral pill to treat SARS-CoV-2 appears to work against the Omicron variant, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Nature Papers Find Genetic Risk Factor for Smell, Taste Loss in COVID-19; Analyze TB Granulomas

In Nature this week: genome-wide association study find locus linked to the risk COVID-19 patients losing their sense of taste or smell, and more.