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In Brief This Week: Roche; PerkinElmer; Baylor Genetics; and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Roche announced this week that it has expanded its Global Access Program for HIV to provide its dual-target cobas HIV test running on the cobas 4800 System and the cobas 6800/8800 Systems at an affordable price for qualifying organizations in 82 eligible countries with the highest disease burden.


In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission this week, PerkinElmer said it has issued a previously announced €500 million ($554.2 million) aggregate principal amount of 1.875 percent senior notes due 2026. The notes, which will mature on Jul. 19, 2026, will bear interest at the rate of 1.875 percent per year and will be paid annually on July 19, commencing on July 19, 2017 to holders of record on the preceding July 5.


This week, Baylor Miraca Genetics Laboratories — a joint venture between Baylor College of Medicine and Miraca — said it has rebranded itself as Baylor Genetics. The organization, whose new tagline is "Ready With Answers," hopes the rebranding will make it more visible in what President and CEO Gary Huff called "a crowded field of genetic start-ups."


Genome Canada announced that it has chosen five recipients for the fifth round of funding under its Genomic Applications Partnership Program. The five projects — which include an initiative to lower the risks of offshore oil and gas exploration using genomic approaches and a project to use gene variants to improve tomato flavors — will receive a total of C$5.3 million (US$4 million) in federal funding and an additional C$11.6 million from provincial governments, and private and public organizations.


Novacyt this week reported its revenues for the first half of 2016 rose 11 percent to €5.0 million, including a 36 percent increase in sales of the Novaprep liquid biopsy test to €850,000. The company also said it has completed successful trials with Novaprep to demonstrate compatibility with all major HPV platforms, and maintained a positive sales outlook for the test in the second half of the year.


Vermillion subsidiary Aspira Labs said this week that it has signed an agreement with Michigan healthcare insurance company Priority Health Managed Benefits to cover Aspira's ovarian cancer risk assessment test, OVA1.


Tiziana Life Sciences this week announced the €258,000 acquisition of a bio-repository from Shardna, and the establishment of a Sardinia-based subsidiary called LonGevia Genomics. The biotechnology company said LonGevia will specifically focus on the development of the recently acquired assets to identify novel drug targets and diagnostic applications.


MilliporeSigma this week unveiled plans to build a new $115 million campus in Burlington, Massachusetts that will serve as a major hub for the North American life science business of Merck KGaA. The 280,000-square-foot facility will include a customer collaboration laboratory and training center as well as office space, the company said. MilliporeSigma's 850 full-time employees based in Billerica, Massachusetts will be relocated to the new campus in the second half of 2017.

In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared on the GenomeWeb site.

The Scan

Study Tracks Off-Target Gene Edits Linked to Epigenetic Features

Using machine learning, researchers characterize in BMC Genomics the potential off-target effects of 19 computed or experimentally determined epigenetic features during CRISPR-Cas9 editing.

Coronary Artery Disease Risk Loci, Candidate Genes Identified in GWAS Meta-Analysis

A GWAS in Nature Genetics of nearly 1.4 million coronary artery disease cases and controls focused in on more than 200 candidate causal genes, including the cell motility-related myosin gene MYO9B.

Multiple Sclerosis Contributors Found in Proteome-Wide Association Study

With a combination of genome-wide association and brain proteome data, researchers in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology tracked down dozens of potential multiple sclerosis risk proteins.

Quality Improvement Study Compares Molecular Tumor Boards, Central Consensus Recommendations

With 50 simulated cancer cases, researchers in JAMA Network Open compared molecular tumor board recommendations with central consensus plans at a dozen centers in Japan.