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In Brief This Week: 23andMe, PerkinElmer, SQI Diagnostics, and More

NEW YORK – 23andMe expects to begin trading on the Nasdaq exchange on June 17 under the ticker symbol “ME,” the firm announced this week. In addition, warrants for the firm will trade under the symbol “MEUSW” following consummation of the firm’s merger with VG Acquisition, special-purpose acquisition company sponsored by Virgin Group. As previously reported, the merger places 23andMe's enterprise value at approximately $3.5 billion. 

PerkinElmer said this week that its contract for COVID-19 testing with the UK's NHS Test and Trace Newport Lighthouse laboratory in Newport, South Wales, has been extended through March 2022. The collaboration between the Waltham, Massachusetts-based firm and the lab started in October 2020, and more than 2 million samples have been processed since then for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. PerkinElmer's Chemagic 360 instruments and Janus G3 PCR+ workstations are being used in UK labs to automate the firm's RNA extraction and RT-PCR tests. 

SQI Diagnostics said recently that sales in its fiscal second quarter were flat year over year at C$300,000 (US$248,000). The Toronto-based firm had a net loss of C$3.6 million, or C$.01 per share, for Q2 compared to a net loss of C$2.3 million, or $.01 per share, a year ago. Its R&D spending rose 40 percent year over year to C$2.1 million from C$1.5 million, while its SG&A costs grew 78 percent to C$1.6 million from C$900,000. The firm had cash and investments of C$3.8 million as of March 31. 

PATH said this week that SD Biosensor's Standard G6PD Test has received regulatory approval from the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration. The point-of-care test is for detecting glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, or G6PD, deficiency and can be used to help select appropriate drugs for treating Plasmodium vivax malaria in men and women, PATH said. The test was developed to guide the care of patients with P. vivax malaria who also have a hereditary deficiency of the G6PD enzyme. Such individuals can experience severe anemia if they take 8-aminoquinoline drugs. PATH, which brings together public institutions, businesses, social enterprises, and investors to improve health equity, partnered with SD Biosensor in 2016 to support the advancement of the Standard G6PD Test. 

The Center for Genomic Interpretation announced this week that it has launched the ElevateGenetics Brilliant Program, a technical competency assessment to evaluate the accuracy of genetic and genomic lab findings. The program will assess how well DNA sequencing tests can detect and rigorously classify important mutations and therapeutic biomarkers, particularly in genetic sequences that are technically challenging, the center said in a statement. The program uses in silico proficiency testing to evaluate the competency of hereditary or germline disease tests, along with solid or liquid tumor profiling tests. For payors, the program’s metrics can provide evaluations when contracting with laboratories. For labs, the program provides a third-party review that can improve the accuracy of test findings. 

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.