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In Brief This Week: Thermo Fisher Scientific, Life Technologies; Sequenom; Rosetta Genomics, Sanra Laboratories; Biosearch Technologies; More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Following the announcement earlier this week that Thermo Fisher Scientific plans to acquire Life Technologies for $13.6 billion, a number of investment analysts changed their ratings for both companies.

Goldman Sachs upgraded Life to Neutral from Sell and increased the 12-month price target on Life's shares to $74 from $48. Oppenheimer, however, removed the Outperform rating on Life to Not Rated and removed its $67 price target, while Credit Suisse downgraded the company to Neutral from Outperform though it raised the price target to $76 from $69.

Credit Suisse kept the Outperform rating on Thermo Fisher, but raised the price target to $89 from $79. Mizuho Securities upgraded the company to Buy from Neutral and increased the price target to $90 from $80.


Sequenom's wholly owned subsidiary the Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine this month surpassed 100,000 MaterniT21 Plus tests samples processed since the test, which detects trisomies 21, 18, and 13, and X and Y chromosomal abnormalities, was launched in October 2011. To meet growing demand for the test, Sequenom CMM is in the process of validating and licensing an additional location in North Carolina to increase its test capacity. The new site is anticipated to become operational in the second half of the year and will increase the total MaterniT21 Plus testing capacity to at least 300,000 test samples per year from the current 200,000. More than 150,000 MaterniT21 Plus tests samples are expected to be accessioned in 2013, Sequenom said.


Rosetta Genomics has reached a settlement with Sanra Laboratories over the sale of Parkway Clinical Laboratories to Sanra. Under the terms of the agreement, Sanra will "undertake their best efforts" to pay Rosetta $625,000 on top of all other payments it has paid Rosetta "for total consideration of all their obligations." Sanra previously paid $10,000 as an upfront payment. Rosetta sold Parkway Clinical, a CLIA laboratory, to Sanra in 2009 for up to $2.5 million, as reported at the time by Gene Silencing News.


Biosearch Technologies has relocated its GMP manufacturing process to a new 30,000-square-foot production facility in Novato, Calif., allowing the company to expand processes and controls relevant to medical device and molecular diagnostic customers, it said. The company also achieved ISO 13485:2003 certification.


Molecular diagnostics firm Insight Genetics said its quality management system achieved ISO 9001:2008 certification. The certification was issued in March and represents "an international consensus on good management practices and quality assurance," the company said.


French theranostics and in vitro diagnostics company Theradiag this week said that revenues for full-year 2012 dipped 19 percent to €8.3 million ($10.8 million) from €10.2 million a year ago. Net loss for the year rose 187 percent to €972,000 from €339,000 in 2011. Sales from a distribution contract covering IVD tests were up to €3.3 million, compared to €3.1 million in 2011, but revenues from in-house developed products were down to €5 million from €7.1 million a year ago, Theradiag said. The firm had €8.4 million in cash as of the end of 2012.


Atossa Genetics filed an amended prospectus for the sale of an aggregate of almost 6.5 million shares of its common stock. Of that, about 5.6 million shares are issuable upon the exercise of warrants by the selling shareholders at a price of between $1.25 and $5.00, the Seattle-based firm said in its document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Atossa, which went public in the fall, said it will not receive any proceeds from the sale by the selling shareholders, but "may indirectly receive proceeds to the extent that any selling stockholders exercise warrants for cash and then resell those shares of common stock" under the prospectus.


The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program has provided C$112,000 ($US109,000) to Coastal Genomics to support development of the Ranger workstation for automating agarose gel size selection for up to 96 samples in one run. The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company aims to commercially launch the platform this year.


Adarza BioSystems has received an investment to support the continued commercialization of its multiplex immunoassay products, BioGenerator, a non-profit venture development organization, said this week. BioGenerator led the investment syndication. Adarza will establish its operation in St. Louis, Mo.


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

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