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In Brief This Week: Illumina, Siemens Healthineers, Danaher, Abbott, and More

NEW YORK – Illumina this week announced that it is donating sequencing systems and consumables worth more than A$2 million ($1.5 million) to an Australian government program to sequence COVID-19 cases nationwide. Under the program, the Communicable Disease Genomics Network will sequence all positive cases of COVID-19 to better understand transmission and spread of SARS-CoV-2. Australia has provided A$3.3 million to support the program through a Medical Research Future Fund grant from the University of New South Wales school of medical sciences.

The Siemens Foundation and Siemens Healthineers this week announced that they are collaborating with nonprofit Testing for America to donate $500,000 in funding and make an in-kind donation of COVID-19 testing technologies with a fair market value of almost $2.3 million to support the safe reopening of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) across the US.

Siemens Healthineers will contribute testing technologies that include serology tests to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. Testing for America will work closely with Siemens and advise the HBCUs on protocols and implementing the technologies on their campuses.

Danaher announced this week a quarterly dividend of $.18 per share of common stock, payable on Oct. 30 to shareholders of record on Sept. 28. The firm also announced a quarterly dividend of $11.875 per share of its 4.75 percent Series A Mandatory Convertible Preferred Stock, payable on Oct. 15 to shareholders of record on Sept. 30, and a dividend of $12.50 per share of its Series B Mandatory Convertible Preferred Stock, payable on Oct. 15 to shareholders of record on Sept. 30.

Quidel said this week that it has entered into an agreement to amend a credit agreement dated Aug. 31, 2018, among Quidel, several banks, other financial institutions, and Bank of America as an administrative agent. In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Quidel said that the amended credit agreement increases the dollar amount of permitted stock repurchases that Quidel can make during the term of the earlier credit agreement to no more than $400 million after Sept. 11 this year.

10x Genomics this week announced the closing of its public offering of 4.6 million shares of Class A common stock, including the underwriters' fully exercised option to purchase 600,000 shares. At a public offering price of $110 per share, the aggregate gross proceeds were $506 million, before deducting underwriting discounts, commissions, and offering expenses.

Natera this week announced a program to use both its Signatera molecular residual disease test and its Prospera transplant rejection test to improve care for organ transplant patients with a history of cancer.

Specifically, the firm plans to help colorectal cancer patients to be listed for and receive a kidney transplant earlier in a study called Colorectal Neoplasm in Candidates Enlisting for Renal Transplantation (CONCERT) study. It also plans to track hepatocellular cancer recurrence post liver transplant in an observational study called Signatera in Liver Cancer (SIGNAL). Finally, Natera intends to study unique organ rejection dynamics in cancer patients through the Prospera in Renal Allograft Recipients with Cancer (PARC) study.

Sherlock Biosciences said this week that it has formed a nonprofit organization called the 221b Foundation, which will enable access to the firm’s CRISPR-based technology for COVID-19 diagnostic test development while simultaneously supporting equity in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Proceeds from any company or third-party sales of COVID-19 testing products based on Sherlock Bio’s technology will specifically support racial and gender diversity in STEM. The 221b Foundation's initial leadership includes Sherlock Bio Cofounder, President, and CEO Rahul Dhanda, and Mark Jefferson, assistant dean for community engagement and equity at Harvard Law School. The foundation's first partner in promoting STEM diversity is Scratch, a programming language and online community designed for young people between the ages of 8 and 16.

Genetic counseling services provider GeneScreen Counseling and health data management firm Command Health said this week that they have formed a new company that integrates their respective technologies. The new company, called SynerGenomics, will offer an online platform for connecting patients and physicians with GeneScreen counselors, as well as tools for office productivity. The HIPAA-compliant and mobile-ready platform integrates with all major clinical systems and can be customized to individual physician preferences and practice protocols with genomic research, education, counseling, and testing services, the companies said. Command Health CEO Bard Betz will be CEO of SynerGenomics, and GeneScreen Founder and CEO Jill Chisholm will be president and chief medical officer.

Quotient announced this week it has closed its previously announced public offering of 20,294,117 of its ordinary shares at $4.25 per share, including 2,647,058 additional ordinary shares purchased by the underwriters of the offering after they exercised their option to do so. Net proceeds from the offering were about $80.5 million, which the Swiss firm will use to fund ongoing development and commercialization of its MosaiQ platform, and for working capital, operating expenses, and other general corporate purposes.

Luminex this week announced a cash dividend for the third quarter of $.09 per share, payable on Oct. 15 to stockholders of record on Sept. 24.

Agilent Technologies announced this week a quarterly dividend of $.18 per share, payable on Oct. 28 to shareholders of record on Oct. 6.

Abbott announced this week a quarterly dividend of $.36 per share, payable Nov. 16 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Oct. 15.

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.