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In Brief This Week: Becton Dickinson, Centogene, Lucira Health, and More

NEW YORK – Becton Dickinson said this week that the BD Veritor At-Home COVID-19 Test can now be purchased through Everly Health; Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Fresco y Más; Harveys Supermarket; and Winn-Dixie Stores. The test, which is also available through Amazon, uses a smartphone camera and app to capture and interpret results. 

Centogene said this week that its CEO Andrin Oswald is taking a temporary medical leave of absence for at least four weeks. The company did not provide further details about his condition. Kim Stratton has been appointed as interim CEO while Oswald, who became CEO in December 2020, is on leave. Stratton was most recently CEO of Orphazyme, which focuses on treatments for patients with rare diseases. Before that, she was head of international commercial for Shire Pharmaceuticals' specialty and rare diseases portfolio and spent 15 years at Novartis in several senior management positions. 

Progenity said this week that it has completed divesting its Avero Diagnostics affiliate to Northwest Pathology for $10.9 million and is thus exiting the laboratory business. The sale will result in a yearly operating expense reduction of $28 million and is part of the company’s plan to significantly reduce its cash burn.  

Lucira Health said this week that it has reached an agreement with Toronto-based Switch Health Solutions to provide more than 2 million at-home COVID-19 test kits in Canada. Lucira's test leverages real-time loop-mediated isothermal amplification technology to provide results in 30 minutes. The US Food and Drug Administration issued Emergency Use Authorization for the test in November 2020. Switch Health provides decentralized patient care. 

Yourgene Health said this week that its Yourgene Genomic Services business has been awarded a contract by the UK's Department of Health and Social Care to provide COVID-19 winter surge testing. The contract runs until March 31, 2022 and is the third DHSC contract awarded to Yourgene under the Public Health England National Microbiology Framework agreement.  

In August, Yourgene won a contract for COVID-19 PCR surge testing, and earlier this month, it secured a contract by the UK Health Security Agency for the provision of genetic sequencing services. 

SkylineDx said this week that it has received a capital investment of undisclosed amount from US-based investment and advisory firm Novalis LifeSciences and from Netherlands-based Van Herk Investments. SkylineDx noted it is at a "critical growth stage," with its first products introduced in the US. Its dermatology program is focused on prognostic and predictive biomarker development covering melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. With the new funding, Skyline aims to accelerate clinical adoption of its Merlin Test for melanoma. 

Todos Medical said this week that its COVID-19 testing laboratory Provista Diagnostics has signed a reference laboratory services agreement with an unnamed Kentucky-based physician group. The agreement covers the cPass neutralizing antibody test for SARS-CoV-2, which received Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration in November 2020. 

Achiko said this week that it will begin trading on the US-based OTCQB under the ticker symbol ACHKF. The firm’s shares also trade on the SIX Swiss Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ACHI. B Riley Securities acted as Achiko’s sponsor for the OTCQB, a mid-tier equity market that mainly lists early-stage companies. Achiko develops aptamer-based diagnostics and companion health applicationsIt currently has a rapid COVID-19 test and companion app on the market in Indonesia, with plans to launch the test in Europe in 2022.  

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. 

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