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In Brief This Week: US Department of Defense, PerkinElmer; Luminex; Source BioScience, Inverclyde Biologicals; Crescendo Bioscience; More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The US Department of Defense said recently that PerkinElmer Genetics has been awarded a maximum $9.7 million modification exercising the second option year of a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods for newborn screening services. "The modification is a firm-fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, performance-based service contract," according to DoD. May 6, 2014 is the performance completion date. PerkinElmer did not reply to a message seeking additional information.


Luminex said in its Form 10-Q this week that it recorded $7.0 million in expenses during the first quarter associated with the termination of its molecular diagnostic distribution agreements. The company went to a direct sales model for its MDx products in January. The $7.0 million was recorded as an SG&A expense, and all payments will be made in the second quarter.


Source BioScience has acquired the entire issued share capital of Inverclyde Biologicals for £1.6 million ($2.5 million) in cash. UK-based Inverclyde manufactures diagnostic kits and blood group serology reagents. It posted revenues of £700,000 and a profit of £200,000 before taxes in its Fiscal Year 2012 ended April 30, 2012. Among reasons for the deal, Source Bio said it expands the company's presence into Scotland "providing the opportunity to establish an overnight service for DNA sequencing accessible by the Scottish research community."


Nimbix and Convey Computer have partnered to expand the Convey hybrid-core infrastructure as part of "The Accelerated Genomics Cloud" promotion, which gives free runtime to qualified applicants. The platform will be used in research projects for customers, and a total of $25,000 of cloud processing time will be awarded to genomics researchers for bioinformatics analysis. Recipients of the top awards will receive $1,000 of runtime each. Convey said that that is enough to map up to 3 Tbases of reads. The remaining recipients will receive $500 of runtime. The promotion began on April 30 and ends July 1, or until all funding has been awarded.


Analytik Jena has established a subsidiary in Thailand to serve the Southeast Asian market. The German analytical instrument firm plans to develop a sales network for the market and to use Analytik Jena Far East, based in Bangkok, as a regional competence center. The Thai subsidiary is Analytik Jena's ninth foreign subsidiary, it said. In March, the company created a French subsidiary.


Floragenex and the Thünen Institute announced a collaboration to identify natural genetic variations in five species of trees distributed across Africa and Central Asia. The partners will use restriction site-associated DNA sequencing technology with Illumina's HiSeq 2000 platform to sequence and analyze iroko, sapelli, ayous, Siberian larch, and Mongolian oak trees to develop genetic markers, which will be used to control the timber trade and reduce illegal logging.


Eventus Diagnostics has received CE marking for its Octava Pink breast cancer test to confirm true negative mammography results. The Miami, Fla.-based company also said that it is partnering with breast cancer specialists in Italy and Israel to make the test available on a pilot basis. A spokesperson said a full launch in Europe of, and regulatory filings in the US, for Octava Pink are anticipated later this year.


Rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune molecular diagnostic company Crescendo Bioscience received accreditation from the Commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists.


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

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The Scan

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.

Fragile X Syndrome Mutations Found With Comprehensive Testing Method

Researchers in Clinical Chemistry found fragile X syndrome expansions and other FMR1 mutations with ties to the intellectual disability condition using a long-range PCR and long-read sequencing approach.

Team Presents Strategy for Speedy Species Detection in Metagenomic Sequence Data

A computational approach presented in PLOS Computational Biology produced fewer false-positive species identifications in simulated and authentic metagenomic sequences.

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.