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In Brief This Week: Quest Diagnostics, Becton Dickinson, Trinity Biotech, and More

NEW YORK (360Dx) – Quest Diagnostics this week announced it is acquiring the outreach laboratory services of Marin General Hospital located in Greenbrae, California. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. No other details were disclosed. Quest said the deal is anticipated to improve the delivery of high-value diagnostic information to patients and healthcare providers in Marin County with advanced diagnostic services and an expanded network of patient service centers.

Quest Chairman, President, and CEO Steven Rusckowski noted in a statement that reimbursement rates implemented at the start of the year as a result of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act have increased pressure on hospital outreach labs, which have responded by seeking opportunities such as mergers and partnerships with Quest. On Monday the firm announced it is purchasing certain assets of the outreach lab service business of Hurley Medical Center.

Becton Dickinson announced this week a $200 million investment in its facilities in Nebraska. The investment will create 300 new jobs in the state, it said. The announcement follows two investments in 2016 in Nebraska, including $100 million directed at BD’s Holdrege facility and $40 for equipment, facility upgrades, and infrastructure improvements to its manufacturing facility in Broken Bow.

Trinity Biotech this week said that its third quarter revenues were down 7 percent year over year to $23.7 million from $25.6 million.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, Trinity's clinical laboratory product revenues were down 1 percent to $20.7 million from $21.0 million, and its point-of-care product revenues were down 35 percent to $3.0 million from $4.6 million.

Point-of-care revenues were down year over year due to lower HIV product sales in Africa and fluctuations in ordering patterns in that market, the firm said, adding that its Q3 2017 point-of-care revenues were higher than average also because of order-pattern fluctuation.

Excluding the impact of currency movements, primarily in the Brazilian Real, Trinity's Q3 clinical laboratory revenues increased by 0.4 percent. During the quarter, its Premier brand and autoimmunity product revenues continued to increase, but gains were offset by lower infectious diseases revenues, including for Lyme disease products, in the US.

In Q3, Trinity's R&D expenses decreased 13 percent year over year to $1.3 million from $1.5 million. Its SG&A expenses dropped 9 percent to $7.1 million from $7.8 million Q3 2017.

The firm reported a profit of $896,000 for the quarter, or $.04 cents per share, compared to $445,000, or $.02 cents per share in Q3 2017. Diluted EPS for the quarter was $.05 compared to $.06 in Q3 2017.

Trinity said that on Aug. 1, it repurchased $15.1 million of its exchangeable notes for $12 million, which resulted in a Q3 net gain of about $400,000.

In Q3, Trinity received two US Food and Drug Administration clearances — one for HEp-2 Elite and another for Immulisa RNA Polymerase III, both developed at its Buffalo, New York, facility.

Premaitha Health said this week that it has increased the second tranche admission of its previously announced stock offering from about 20.2 million placing and subscription shares to about 21 million ordinary shares, following an increase of 800,000 subscription shares. Thus, the gross proceeds from the second tranche admission will total £2.1 million ($2.7 million). The company expects admission of the 21 million ordinary shares to become effective on or around October 25.

Enable Biosciences said this week it has moved to a new 3,488-square-foot facility in South San Francisco to accommodate the company’s growth and to launch a new clinical testing facility. The firm currently has a team of six scientists, engineers, and physicians, and plans to expand its roster in anticipation of the launch of its blood and saliva tests for type 1 diabetes, Lyme disease, and food allergies over the next year.

French specialty IVD firm Eurobio Scientific has obtained ISO 13485:2016 certification, it said this week. Certification was achieved in September.

SEngine Precision Medicine said it received a $3 million investment from Ellliott Burkland this month, bringing the company's total amount raised since 2015 to $8.2 million. SEngine said it plans to use the funding to advance its proprietary portfolio of targeted cancer drugs, aimed at novel cancer vulnerabilities, for clinical testing.

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.