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In Brief This Week: CareDx, Natera, OncoCyte, and More

NEW YORK – A judge for the Unites States District Court of Delaware has adopted the recommendations of a magistrate judge in a false advertising lawsuit filed by CareDx against Natera, largely ruling against Natera’s motion to dismiss the suit. In his report, which was filed earlier this month, the magistrate judge recommended upholding CareDx’s false advertising and unfair competition claims, while noting that the counts in the lawsuit relating to trademark disparagement and unfair trade practices should be dismissed without prejudice. He wrote that CareDx should be given 14 days to refile amended complaints for those two claims. The district judge wholly adopted the magistrate’s recommendations and overruled an objection that Natera had filed to the report. 

OncoCyte said today that it is moving its national headquarters to Irvine in Orange County, California. The new facility will replace its Alameda office in the Bay Area. According to OncoCyte, the move reflects a continuing commitment to the growth of the company, which is looking to further expand its team. 

The company considered multiple locations across the US, ultimately settling on Orange County "because of its access to talent, affordability, opportunity for future growth, and incredible community treatment centers," OncyCyte CEO Ronnie Andrews said in a statement. Clinical institutions in the area include the Leonard Cancer Institute at Mission Hospital, the recently opened City of Hope Cancer Center and Hoag Hospital. 

Angle this week said that its interim revenues for the first half of its fiscal 2020 rose 33 percent year over year to £400,000 ($441,000) from £300,000 in H1 2019. More than 16,000 samples were processed during the six months ended Oct. 31, 2019. The loss for H1 2020 is expected to be £5.3 million compared to a loss of £4.2 million a year ago. Angle had a cash balance of £20.4 million as of Oct. 31. It noted that it has completed clinical and analytical studies to support clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration of the firm’s Parsortix system for capturing and harvesting circulating tumor cells from metastatic breast cancer patients. The presubmission process has been completed while a full de novo application is being prepared with a submission targeted for the first three months of 2020. 

Enzo Biochem announced this week that its board has proposed amending its bylaws to increase the size of the board from five to six directors, and providing the board with the option to raise the number of directors to seven. The board further recommended to shareholders that they elect both nominees of company shareholder Harbert Discovery Fund, which owns 11.8 percent of the firm’s shares, to the board. 

The board said it recommended these changes after it was unable to reach an agreement with Harbert on adding its two nominees to the board. As a result, Enzo said, it recommends increasing the size of the board in order to provide shareholders with additional choices. Harbert objected to the recommendations, noting that the expanding the board to seven members is inappropriate for a company the size of Enzo. 

HudsonAlpha Health Alliance and East Alabama Medical Center said this week that they have launched a pilot program to offer genomic health screening to select employees eligible to participate based on their current cholesterol levels. The organizations said a goal of the program is to help healthcare providers optimize treatments for individuals. "This employee program is strictly voluntary," Susan Johnston, VP of human resources at East Alabama Medical Center, said in a statement. "But we believe the benefits can be impactful to the overall health of our employees. Our intention is to help improve the overall long-term effectiveness of the healthcare of our employees, and provide them and their physicians with information to make the best possible health care decisions." 

StageZero Life Sciences announced Monday it closed a private placement financing for $674,408.80. The placement was structured as units at $0.04, with each unit including one common share and one half warrant. The funds will be used to advance the company’s commercialization efforts and for general working capital.  

In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared on 360Dx.