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In Brief This Week: Meridian Bioscience, Clinical Genomics, InBios International, and More

NEW YORK –  Meridian Bioscience this week completed its previously announced $49 million acquisition of Israel-based breath diagnostics firm Exalenz Bioscience. Exalenz sells the BreathID Breath Test System, a point-of-care urea breath test platform for detection of Helicobacter pylori infection.

Clinical Genomics said this week that it has amended an existing strategic agreement with Quest Diagnostics, which includes an increased investment by Quest into the company. The amendment further leverages the capabilities of the companies to support Quest’s commercialization of Clinical Genomics’ Trident Program for colorectal cancer screening, Clinical Genomics said, adding that it also expands its commercialization rights for the Trident Program and Colvera, a blood-based test for colorectal cancer recurrence monitoring, outside the US, Mexico, the UK, and India. Terms of the amended deal were not disclosed. 

InBios International said this week that it has been awarded a contract from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to develop a SCoV-2 Detect IgM/IgG Rapid Test. The point-of-care test detects IgG and IgM antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. Under the terms of the contract, InBios will acquire reagents and patient samples, develop product kits, and perform studies to validate the assay design as it prepares to seek Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration. InBios declined to disclose additional terms. Earlier this month, the firm received FDA EUA for its PCR-based kit for detecting SARS-CoV-2. 

The US Food and Drug Administration this week issued guidance that aims to help expand the availability of devices for remote reviewing and reporting of scanned digital images of pathology slides. The FDA noted that the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had recently granted a temporary waiver allowing pathologists to review pathology slides remotely during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Expanding the availability of remote digital pathology devices may help facilitate pathology services while reducing contact with healthcare personnel and risk of potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the FDA said, adding that its new policy will remain in effect for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

Illumina announced this week that it has donated sequencing systems and consumables for SARS-CoV-2 sequencing to the Africa Centre for Disease Control, worth $1.4 million. The materials will expand sequencing of the virus in 10 countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda. 

Interpace Biosciences said this week that its Interpace Diagnostics subsidiary has signed a coverage contract with Avalon Healthcare Solutions that includes two of the largest Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in the Southeastern US. The contract will cover the company’s ThyGeNext and ThyraMir thyroid cancer detection assays as an in-network service. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. 

Danaher announced this week that it sold its label-free biomolecular characterization, chromatography hardware and resins, microcarriers and particle validation standards, single use tangential flow filtration systems, and stainless-steel hollow fiber tangential flow filtration systems businesses to Sartorius for $825 million. Combined revenues for these businesses was $170 million in 2019. The primary reason for the sale was to obtain regulatory approval for Danaher’s $21.4 billion acquisition of GE’s Biopharma business, now called Cytiva, and the closing of the sale was conditioned upon the closing of Danaher’s acquisition on March 31.  

Biocartis said this week that it has created 850,000 share options under a new plan called the "Share Option Plan 2020B." The share options have a term of 10 years, are non-transferrable, and cannot be exercised prior to the first day of the fourth calendar year following the calendar year in which the offer of share options is made to a beneficiary. Each share option gives the right to subscribe to one new ordinary Biocartis share. If the share options are exercised, Biocartis will apply for admission to trading of the resulting new shares on Euronext Brussels. The share option will not be listed on any stock market. 

Genomics Medicine Ireland said this week that it will assist research institutions in their COVID-19 research studies by providing free genome sequencing of infected patients in the country. GMI will receive an unspecified amount of support from Illumina Cambridge for the service, which will be provided to researchers who are working to identify protective and risk-bearing genetic factors for COVID-19 and who will share consented, anonymized data with other researchers through the EMBL-EBI European Genome-phenome Archive database. The clinical research facility at St James' Hospital, which is collaborating with researchers at Trinity College Dublin, is among the initial research facilities participating in these international efforts. 

PerkinElmer said this week that its board declared a regular quarterly dividend of $.07 per share of common stock, payable on Aug. 7 to all shareholders of record at the close of business on July 17.

Becton Dickinson said this week that its board has declared a quarterly dividend of $.79 per share payable on June 30 to shareholders of record on June 9. The indicated annual dividend rate is $3.16 per share.

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.