Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

In Brief This Week: Meridian Bioscience, BARDA, HHS, Oncocyte, GeneDx, More

NEW YORK – SD Biosensor and SJL Partners this week closed their acquisition of Meridian Bioscience, which was originally announced in July. Under the terms of the merger, Meridian shareholders have the right to receive $34.00 per share in cash and Meridian will no longer be traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. Meridian will also continue to operate as an independent entity under new ownership, the companies said in a statement. 

The US Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) announced this week that it will support the development of Specific Diagnostics’ Specific Reveal Rapid AST System in partnership with BioFire Defense. Specific Diagnostics and BioFire Defense are both subsidiaries of BioMérieux. The contract supports expansion of the Specific Reveal test menu to include panels for gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial, fungal, and streptococcal blood infection samples and isolates. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed. 

The US Department of Health and Human Services this week launched the second phase of the LymeX Diagnostics Prize and invited the 10 winners of Phase I to participate in the virtual accelerator. In the second phase, participants will refine their cohorts for detecting active Lyme disease infections in people. The goal of the prize is to support development of diagnostics for potential review by the US Food and Drug Administration and then commercialization. 

Oncocyte said this week that it has applied to transfer the listing of its common stock from the Nasdaq Global Market to the Nasdaq Capital Market as suggested in a letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission last year stating that Nasdaq had determined that the company no longer met its minimum bid price. By making the transfer, Oncocyte would gain an additional 180 calendar days to regain compliance. 

The company said it currently expects that its common stock will continue to trade under the symbol OCX and will update investors when it can confirm the timing of the transfer. 

Opko Health has purchased nearly 14.3 million additional shares of GeneDx, giving it a total of 94.3 million shares, or about a 12 percent stake in a company it used to own outright, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In another filing, GeneDx disclosed that its largest shareholder, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, increased its holdings to 123.2 million shares, or 15 percent of the company, with the purchase of 28.6 million shares this week. 

The current GeneDx is the company known until last month as Sema4. Sema4 acquired assets then known as GeneDx in April 2022 from Opko Health for $623 million in cash, 80 million shares of Sema4 stock, and milestone payments. With Sema4/GeneDx stock sharply declining throughout 2022, Opko Health paid just $.35 per share, or a total of about $5 million, for the new shares last week. 

Carolina Liquid Chemistries said this week that it has won summary judgment in a federal False Claims Act case dating to 2013. At the time, two relators filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the Greensboro, North Carolina-based company alleging CLC customers overbilled Medicare and Medicaid by claiming the firm's urine drug test machines could perform high-complexity quantitative drug testing, rather than only qualitative testing, and received higher reimbursements from the federal government as a result. According to court documents, the relators are Randy Reagan, who owned a chemistry supply company in Norfolk, Virginia, at the time the complaint was filed in 2013, and James Longfield, a Denver-based consultant in the chemistry and laboratory industry at the time. CLC said the relators were company competitors without any inside knowledge of CLC. The relators also claimed CLC's devices weren't approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, and all claims submitted to Medicare and Medicaid for tests run on the devices were false. In July 2022, CLC filed for a summary judgment, which was granted in December, and all claims against the company have been dismissed, CLC said. 

MIP Discovery said this week that it has received a grant of an undisclosed amount from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for use of the nanoMIP technology. Specifically, the project will use MIP's animal and cell-free detection reagents to enable low-cost, high-volume diagnostic tests for low- and middle-income countries during pandemic and endemic outbreaks. MIP's reagents are meant to improve upon antibodies and use proprietary imprinted polymer technology to meet the requirements for speed and scale of novel recognition reagents, the Bedfordshire, UK-based firm said. It added that the firm intends to reduce current timelines so that novel detection reagents can be designed and scaled up in less than four weeks. 

Covington, Kentucky-based Gravity Diagnostics said this week it has received accreditation from the College of American Pathologists based on the results of a recent on-site inspection as part of CAP’s Accreditation Programs. During the accreditation process, CAP inspectors examined the laboratory’s record and quality control procedures for the preceding two years. 

Genetic Signatures announced this week that its fiscal second quarter revenues declined 12 percent year over year to $4.7 million. The firm’s non-COVID sales increased 49 percent compared to the prior year period and more than quadrupled from the comparable pre-COVID quarter in 2020, which the firm said reflected growth of its underlying business. Genetic Signatures has completed clinical trials toward 510(k) submission of a kit to diagnose protozoa infections using its 3base technology and began trials of a second product as well. The firm ended the quarter with $26.8 million in cash. 

 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.