ExonHit Therapeutics

Panasonic of Osaka, Japan, has received US Patent Nos.

Medicare's decision to drop coverage on the test had put on hold a planned acquisition of RedPath by ExonHit.

ExonHit said that it anticipates a lack of quorum to vote on the acquisition, which last week hit a snag on the news that Medicare may drop RedPath's pancreatic cancer test.

RedPath has until July 9 to respond to a Medicare contractor why coverage for its PathFinderTG-Pancreatic test should continue, and ExonHit is currently evaluating the consequences of the decision.

ExonHit CEO Loic Maurel said that the transaction, scheduled to close in July, is a "significant milestone in ExonHit's strategy to become an internationally recognized player in molecular diagnostics," and will "strengthen" the firm's presence in the US.

The acquisition of the Pittsburgh-based cancer testing company will bolster ExonHit’s molecular diagnostic position and its US presence.

The companies said that "final results from the colon cancer program did not reach the level of performance we were aiming to achieve." The firms, both based in France, are co-developing microarray-based tests that screen for a variety of cancer biomarkers in blood.

Following a scientific data review, ExonHit Therapeutics and BioMerieux have decided to discontinue their colon cancer collaboration.

ExonHit hopes to debut a microarray-based test for Alzheimer's disease in Europe by the first quarter of 2011. It is also in discussions with the FDA about the correct path for the in vitro diagnostic for a possible 2012 launch.

The PharmaCog public-and-private research consortium will use ExonHit's technologies to help develop Alzheimer's biomarkers.

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The Washington Post reports on a Federal Bureau of Investigation plan to place rapid DNA analyzers at booking stations around the country.

In an editorial, officials from scientific societies in the US and China call for the international community to develop criteria and standards for human germline editing.

The US National Institutes of Health is to review studies that have received private support for conflicts of interest, according to the New York Times.

In Science this week: the PsychENCODE Consortium reports on the molecular mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders, and more.