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In Brief This Week: NIH, Labcorp, Bio-Techne, Lifespin, Shuwen Biotech

NEW YORK – The National Institutes of Health this week announced the winners of the second phase of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Technology (RADx Tech) Maternal Health Challenge. The 10 projects consist of at-home or point-of-care diagnostic devices, wearables, and other remote sensing technologies. Durham, North Carolina-based HemoSonics advanced with its Quantra system to manage bleeding in critical care settings by providing diagnostic results in approximately 15 minutes. New Gloucester, Maine-based Global Access Diagnostics also advanced with an at-home assay for postpartum urinary tract infections. The NIH said that the challenge received more than 80 submissions to its innovation funnel, with the 10 teams now advancing past the second “deep dive” phase receiving $75,000 and entering a technology assessment phase. They will now be eligible for a $300,000 interim milestone prize and a final testing and verification prize of $500,000. Up to six challenge finalists are expected to be announced next year. 

Laboratory Corporation of America said this week that it has partnered with the Conference of National Black Churches (CNBC) to raise awareness and provide expanded access to colorectal cancer screening tests. Through the partnership, CNBC will distribute more than 3,000 at-home colorectal screening collection kits throughout several urban and rural locations including Atlanta, Dallas, Memphis, Washington, D.C., New Haven, Los Angeles, and Richmond. Labcorp has also conducted a survey of consumer perceptions of colorectal cancer testing that found that 62 percent of respondents are not current with recommended colorectal cancer screening; that 56 percent of those who have been screened would opt for at-home test collection if given the choice; and that only 33 percent of respondents are aware that at-home test collection kits are widely available. 

Separately, Labcorp also said this week its board has approved a cash dividend of $.72 per share, payable on June 8 to shareholders of record on the close of business on May 18. 

German metabolic data firm Lifespin said this week that it has obtained ISO 13485:2016 certification for its AI-based metabolomics technology platform. The platform, located in Regensburg, where Lifespan is headquartered, leverages metabolomic data for health, diagnostics, and disease management, as well as drug research and development. The company said its database includes information covering neurology, oncology, and inflammation. 

Bio-Techne announced this week that it has completed its $257 million investment in Wilson Wolf Manufacturing after Wilson Wolf achieved the trailing 12-month earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) target of $55 million. The investment gives Bio-Techne a 20 percent ownership stake in Wilson Wolf, Minneapolis-based Bio-Techne said in a statement. The agreement also gives Bio-Techne the right to acquire the remaining ownership stake in Wilson Wolf for $1.0 billion upon achievement of 12-month trailing revenues of $226 million or EBITDA of $136 million. If the milestone isn’t achieved by Dec. 31, 2027, Bio-Techne may acquire Wilson Wolf for about 4.4X trailing 12-month revenues. 

Chinese in vitro diagnostics company Shuwen Biotech said last month that it has acquired patents for molecular subtyping of triple-negative breast cancer (so-called Fudan subtyping) from Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center. In addition, Shuwen and FUSCC are collaborating to develop and commercialize the technology. The subtyping method classifies TNBCs into four groups based on their transcriptomes: luminal androgen receptor, immunomodulatory, basal-like immune-suppressed, and mesenchymal-like. Two prospective clinical trials demonstrated that patients receiving personalized treatment based on their Fudan subtyping results had improved overall response rates, according to Shuwen. 

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.