Third Wave and Applied Biosystems recently won a contract to jointly develop SNP tests for a Japanese government project, but for some still unknown reason the deal is very hush-hush.
While sources close to the deal confirmed that the companies won an $80 million contract from Japan to test 150,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms, neither Third Wave nor Applied Biosystems would comment about the deal.
And the person who originally revealed the deal has also backtracked.
The New York Times cited Yusuke Nakamura, director of the Human Genome Center at the University of Tokyo, as saying that the companies had received the contract.
But when contacted by BioInform, Nakamura flatly denied that any deal had been signed.
This comment is totally inaccurate and I have no comment (about) it, said Nakamura, referring to the comments attributed to him.
So, whats going on? Is Applied Biosystems, which previously tried to acquire Third Wave, trying to stop news of the deal from getting out because it is not want to share the spotlight with an upstart, as some industry insiders have suggested?
Sources at Third Wave said they would put an end to some of the rumor mongering by issuing a statement about the contract to the Securities and Exchange Commission in an amendment to their recent IPO filing.
But the amendment was supposed to be posted on Tuesday, August 8 and by press time there were still no signs of the document. A company spokesperson could not be reached for further explanation.