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In Brief This Week: Quest Diagnostics, Myriad Genetics, Gates Foundation, Trinity Biotech, More

NEW YORK – Quest Diagnostics and Fitbit said this week that they are collaborating to study if wearable devices can improve metabolic health. The IRB-approved study aims to evaluate the effect of wearables on users' behaviors as assessed based on objective laboratory test results. The companies plan to invite roughly 1,500 Fitbit users to join and consent to share three months of their Fitbit data. These users will also be given the opportunity to receive laboratory testing at no cost using a panel of blood tests specifically designed to assess metabolic health, including blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides. 

Myriad Genetics completed its acquisition of select assets from Intermountain Health’s Intermountain Precision Genomics (IPG) laboratory business, Myriad said this week. Assets included the Precise Tumor Test, the Precise Liquid Test, and IPG’s CLIA-certified lab in St. George, Utah. IPG had previously offered Myriad’s Precise Tumor Test as TheraMap: Solid Tumor and moving forward, Myriad intends to operate TheraMap: Solid Tumor solely as Precise Tumor. Precise Liquid will launch later this year and IPG has completed all validation studies needed to support its local coverage determination. Additionally, it submitted clinical evidence of test performance for Precise Liquid for Medicare reimbursement in December. 

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in January awarded two diagnostics-related grants among the 46 new grants it awarded in the month. The first grant, for $188,600 over 11 months, was awarded to the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center for a project entitled "To conduct systematic reviews on sputum expectoration proportion for TB testing in various key populations, in support of global policy development around tongue swab-based approaches for TB detection." In addition, the foundation awarded the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health $23,700 over two months for a project entitled "To help develop a diagnostic test for pneumococcal pneumonia in children in low- and middle-income countries." 

Trinity Biotech said this week that its third quarter revenues declined about 7 percent year over year. For the three months ended Sept. 30, 2023, total revenues came in at $14.7 million compared to $15.7 million a year ago. Clinical laboratory revenues were down to $12.0 million from $13.2 million, while point-of-care revenues were up to $2.7 million from $2.5 million. The drop in clinical lab revenues resulted mostly from lower lab services and autoimmune manufacturing revenues, the Dublin-based firm said, while higher sales of its HIV confirmatory test, Uni-Gold, drove higher point-of-care revenues in the recently completed quarter. 

Trinity's R&D costs grew to $1.2 million in Q3 2023 from $1.0 million a year ago. Its SG&A spending rose to $7.7 million from $5.2 million. It had a loss of $6.7 million, or $.175 per ADS, for Q3 2023 compared to a loss of $8.9 million, or $.235 per ADS, in Q3 2022. 

The firm ended the quarter with $6.3 million in cash, cash equivalents, and deposits. 

San Diego-based Genome Insight said last week that its clinical laboratory has been accredited by the College of American Pathologists for its whole-genome sequencing services. The accreditation became effective in January. The firm said in November that it raised $23 million in a Series B-2 financing round, which followed a Series B round that also raised $23 million 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.