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In Brief This Week: Thermo Fisher Scientific, Helix, Premaitha Health, and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Thermo Fisher Scientific this week declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.15 per share, payable on Oct. 16 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 15.

Helix announced this week that its DNA sequencing laboratory has been accredited by the College of American Pathologists. Helix received CLIA accreditation in 2015. The company operates a next-generation sequencing laboratory in San Diego where it offers a proprietary sequencing assay called Exome+.

Premaitha Health announced this week that it has signed contracts through its Taiwanese subsidiary Yourgene Bioscience with two laboratories in South East Asia to establish them as regional hubs for noninvasive prenatal testing. The company did not name the labs, but said both partners are already established NIPT providers in their domestic markets, and that one partner is also among the largest listed genomic testing companies in Asia.

Promega said this week it has received third-party certification of the published ISO 18385 standard to minimize the risk of human DNA contamination in products used to collect, store and analyze biological material for forensic purposes. This Forensic DNA Grade certification comes following a recent onsite audit by international certification agency Bureau Veritas. Promega products manufactured in alignment with the ISO 18385 standard will include a "Forensic Grade" certification logo. This new standard was published on Feb. 1, 2016 to improve the quality of forensic DNA testing by minimizing the risk of human DNA contamination during the manufacturing process. Promega has also received ISO 9001 and 13485 certifications.

SeqLL announced this week that it has been awarded a Phase I SBIR grant worth $223,465 by the National Human Genome Research Institute. The grant, which was awarded in April, will be used to advance the development of Direct RNA Sequencing (DRS) technology on the company's True Single Molecule Sequencing platform. The funds will allow SeqLL to improve DRS chemistry, extend read lengths, and increase throughput. It will also support proof-of-concept work to expand DRS capability to the single cell level.

Equity investment firm Galen Partners this week completed a majority recapitalization of CDx Diagnostics, a specialized anatomic pathology laboratory using proprietary technology to detect precancerous and cancerous tissue initially for clinical use in the esophagus and oral cavity. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Genedata said this week that it has expanded its partnership with AB Enzymes. AB Enzymes uses Genedata Selector as its bioinformatics platform for strain genome data management, and will now use Genedata Selector for decision support on production strain optimization and strain compliance assessment processes. The latest version of Genedata Selector provides new functionalities that analyze and manage NGS data for reliable strain compliance assessment and for investigating microbiome communities, Genedata said.

Belgian PCR automation software company UgenTec and Hamann Laborautomation said this week that they are collaborating on PCR middleware. UgenTec is focused on clinical diagnostics, and its platform, FastFinder, supports tests for sexually transmitted infections, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal diseases, oncology, genetics, and more. The company said that venturing into diagnostic software quickly demanded a more end-to-end approach. The companies now offer PCR middleware and CE-IVD marked, automated PCR interpretation software to laboratories seeking to further automate their workflow.

Agena Bioscience and Intermountain Healthcare this week announced a collaboration that focuses on expanding the use of Agena’s MassARRAY System in oncology applications. The collaborators are aiming to develop focused panels for liquid and tissue biopsy. The molecular tests augment laboratory services available worldwide from Intermountain Precision Genomics to advance precision medicine in cancer, they said.

University Enterprise Laboratories this week announced that the University of Minnesota Genomics Center will be renting lab space in its complex. By providing space for a UMGC satellite lab on site, UEL tenants will also have access UMN’s genomics technologies and expertise, the nonprofit said.

California-based Wobblebase this week acquired Kinetic Diagnostics. The merger will enable the development of a complete personal genetics solution for physicians, fitness trainers, and wellness experts for mobile devices, the company said.

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.