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In Brief This Week: Sequenta, Celgene; Thermo Fisher; Quidel, Life Technologies; Hitachi, OpGen; PerkinElmer; Sigma-Aldrich; More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Sequenta said this week that biopharmaceutical firm Celgene and others have made an equity investment into the company. Sequenta told GenomeWeb Daily News that the investment is a Series D financing but declined to disclose the amount or identify the other investors. The funding will support incorporation of Sequenta's ClonoSight test into clinical trials of medicines in development for blood cancers. It also will go toward development of new clinical diagnostics based on the company's LymphoSight platform.


Thermo Fisher Scientific launched the Ion Torrent Transcriptome Profiling Grant Program to fast-track gene-expression profiling work for up to 12 translational research teams. Those selected will receive free next-generation RNA sequencing services to progress their research in the field of cancer genomics. The grant includes the processing of up to 24 samples using the Ion AmpliSeq Transcriptome Human Gene Expression Kit on the Ion Proton System. The application period closes Dec. 12.


Quidel disclosed in its Form 10-Q that it received a $400,000 payment from Life Technologies in July as part of a 2012 collaboration between the two firms to develop molecular assays. Quidel received $3 million in 2012 and $1.4 million in 2013 as part of the deal. Quidel said it expects no additional payments for the rest of the year as the development efforts have been completed.


Hitachi High-Technologies and OpGen announced an early access program for the upcoming Human Chromosome Explorer human chromosome mapping analytical service for clinical research and life science research applications. The service combines OpGen's Whole Genome Mapping technology with Hitachi's cloud-based environment for the automated analysis of structural variations of entire human genomes. Collaborations are underway as part of the EAP and additional applications are being accepted by Hitachi for human structural variation projects through the end of the year. Hitachi expects to launch the full analytical service in early 2015.


PerkinElmer's board declared a regular quarterly dividend of $.07 per share of common stock, payable on Feb. 6, 2015 to shareholders of record as of the close of the business day on Jan. 16, 2015.


Sigma-Aldrich's board approved a quarterly cash dividend of $.23 per share to be paid on Dec. 15 to shareholders of record on Dec. 1.


Bioinformatics firm InSilico Medicine has made an investment into Canada Cancer and Aging Research Laboratories. The amount of the investment was not disclosed. The companies will also collaborate on research into cancer and multiple sclerosis. InSilico Medicine was founded earlier this year and provides software to support research into drugs that may slow or reverse age-related processes, as BioInform reported.


IntelliCyt has chosen David Sykes of Massachusetts General Hospital as the winner of the company's first technology access program. Sykes along with David Scadden will have access to IntelliCyt's High Throughput Flow screening products, including its iQue Screener instrumentation, ForeCyt informatics software, and MultiCyt reagent kits. The TAP program is a "collaborative outreach effort driven by applications or proposals for ambitious projects" using IntelliCyt products, the Albuquerque, NM-based firm said.


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

Filed under

The Scan

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

With the help of comparative phylogenetics and transcriptomics, researchers in Nature Communications see ties between lifespan and social organization in mammals.

Tumor Microenvironment Immune Score Provides Immunotherapy Response, Prognostic Insights

Using multiple in situ analyses and RNA sequence data, researchers in eBioMedicine have developed a score associated with immunotherapy response or survival.

CRISPR-Based Method for Finding Cancer-Associated Exosomal MicroRNAs in Blood

A team from China presents in ACS Sensors a liposome-mediated membrane fusion strategy for detecting miRNAs carried in exosomes in the blood with a CRISPR-mediated reporter system.

Drug Response Variants May Be Distinct in Somatic, Germline Samples

Based on variants from across 21 drug response genes, researchers in The Pharmacogenomics Journal suspect that tumor-only DNA sequences may miss drug response clues found in the germline.