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In Brief This Week: Thermo Fisher; PerkinElmer; Life Technologies, Unisone; DiaTech Oncology; MRC-NIHR Phenome Centre; BioFire Diagnostics; More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Thermo Fisher Scientific priced the $2.2 billion public offering of its stock at $85.50 per share. The company will offer about 25.7 million shares of its stock in connection to the offering, and proceeds will be used to fund, in part, its $13.6 billion acquisition of Life Technologies.

PerkinElmer announced the opening of direct operations in Turkey, headquartered in Istanbul. The sales and service site will support key markets in the country — including environmental testing, chemical and petrochemical analysis, pharmaceutical applications, and food and beverage safety testing — as well as academic and government institutions. The center will have about 20 sales and service employees and will serve as a demonstration, application support, and service center.

IP holding company Unisone Strategic IP is suing Life Technologies, alleging patent infringement of supply chain management system software IP. Unisone alleges Life Tech infringes US Patent No. 6,996,538, which pertains to inventory control systems and methods. The lawsuit was filed in US District Court for the Southern District of California.

DiaTech Oncology completed an $18 million equity capital raise. Proceeds will be used to develop additional laboratories to support the Nashville, Tenn.-based firm's growth, and to expand relationships with payors and research programs, as well as with institutional and academic partners. Its predictive test, called the Microculture Kinetic, or MiCK, assay measures apoptosis in the cancer cells of chemotherapy patients to provide information about the effectiveness of therapeutic agents on individual patients.

The MRC-NIHR Phenome Centre in the UK officially opened this week. The center, announced last summer during the London Olympics, is funded with £10 million ($15.6 million) from the Medical Research Council and the National Institute of Health Research. It said in a statement that it will examine about 100,000 blood and urine samples annually, investigating phenomes to help determine the causes of diseases and treatments that could be tailored for individual patients.

Oncology physician group Regional Cancer Care Associates and Bio-Reference Laboratories' business unit GenPath Oncology are partnering to create an advanced molecular laboratory located at the John Theurer Cancer Center in Hackensack, NJ. The multi-year partnership will start with the development of a physician-owned immunophenotyping service for hematologic malignancies. GenPath will also provide "a significant" amount of esoteric diagnostic testing to RCCA's network of 92 oncology physicians, the partners said.

BioFire Diagnostics has obtained CE-IVD marking for its FilmArray Blood Culture Identification Panel, allowing the company to market the panel in countries where CE marking applies. The panel tests positive blood cultures and can identify more than 100 blood pathogens known to cause sepsis, BioFire said.

Advanced Biological Laboratories received CE marking for its TherapyEdge product for the capture and integration of patient data. The product allows users to access data, including clinical genotyping reports from Sanger and next-generation sequencing, the company said.

Response Genetics has achieved a second milestone in conjunction with its 2010 licensing agreement with GlaxoSmithKline, triggering a $500,000 payment to the Los Angeles-based molecular diagnostic firm. Under the licensing deal, GSK gained certain rights to Response Genetics' PCR analysis technology and diagnostic expertise around BRAF gene mutations in human tumor samples. In late May, the US Food and Drug Administration approved GSK's drugs, Tafinlar (dabrafenib) and Mekinist (trametinib), for treating advanced melanoma or unresectable melanoma, triggering the payment, which is the second milestone payment under the licensing deal. The first payment of $500,000 occurred in July 2012 when the first PMA was submitted.

The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists program was launched nationwide this week to identify and support faculty-rank scientists 42 years of age and younger. The awards had been limited to researchers in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut since 2007. Three winners will each receive unrestricted cash prizes of $250,000. Nominations from eligible institutions will be received in three disciplinary categories, physical sciences and engineering, chemistry, and life sciences. Nominations for the 2014 awards will be accepted between October and December 2013, and the winners will be honored at a ceremony in September 2014.

More information can be found here.

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