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In Brief This Week: Thermo Fisher Scientific, Leica Biosystems, Genetron, SomaLogic, More

NEW YORK – Thermo Fisher Scientific this week announced that its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of $4 billion of shares of its common stock in the open market or in negotiated transactions. The authorization has no expiration date. In addition, the company’s board of directors authorized a quarterly cash dividend of $.30 per common share, payable on Jan. 16, 2023, to shareholders of record as of Dec. 15, 2022. 

Chinese cancer molecular profiling firm Genetron Health said this week that it has received notification from Nasdaq indicating that for the last 30 consecutive business days, the closing bid price of its American depositary shares was below the minimum of $1 per share. Genetron has until April 26, 2023, to regain compliance with the Nasdaq listing rules by having a closing bid price of at least $1 per share for at least 10 consecutive business days. 

Gastroenterology practice Capital Digestive Care announced this week that its new laboratory in Silver Spring, Maryland, has been designated a Roche Diagnostics Center of Excellence. The lab processes more than 125,000 biopsy specimens and 180,000 additional diagnostics studies per year, as well as more than 300,000 clinical tests annually, the practice said in a statement. The practice will work with its clinical research affiliate Chevy Chase Clinical Research and Roche to support the development and testing of next-generation diagnostic tools. The lab offers anatomic pathology, molecular diagnostics, and clinical diagnostics services, it said. 

Danaher subsidiary Leica Biosystems announced this week that it has acquired multiplexed tissue profiling company Cell IDx. The San Diego-based firm provides multiplex staining panels, tissue staining, and imaging and analysis services. Its UltraPlex technology allows for the simultaneous detection of multiple biomarkers in immunoassays through fluorescent and chromogenic multiplex immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining technology, as well as automated chromogenic detection of multiple markers on Leica’s Bond Rx research stainer, Leica said in a statement. The companies first announced a partnership to combine UltraPlex and Bond Rx last year. 

Numares Health said recently that it has expanded its collaboration with Mayo Clinic to include an "innovative convertible equity investment." Numares declined to provide details about the investment. Numares and Mayo Clinical Laboratories originally teamed up in 2019 to develop clinical diagnostic tests using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to detect cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, liver cancer, and other diseases. The collaboration also includes the development of AI-enabled diagnostic testing for patients with chronic diseases. Numares, which is based in Germany but has its US offices in Texas, noted that it anticipates receiving 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration for its Axinon GFR(NMR) test for assessing kidney function and for its Axinon lipoFIT test for measuring cardiac risk. 

SomaLogic said this week that it has signed Singapore-based Molecular Genomics as a certified site for its SomaScan proteomics assay, its first in Asia. 

"Southeast Asia is an incredibly important and rapidly growing market for translational work in clinical research and life sciences," SomaLogic CEO Roy Smythe said in a statement. "We have a number of exciting projects going on in Asia, and we are pleased to be working with Molecular Genomics as part of the expansion and distribution of our proteomics technology in this region." 

Binx Health this week announced an agreement with Afaxys Group Services to expand access to Binx's menu of sexual health and wellness tests. Binx will leverage Afaxys' group purchasing organization to offer its FDA-cleared, CLIA-waived point-of-care test for chlamydia and gonorrhea and its at-home digital health platform to clinics in the US. Such clinics will have preferred pricing, Boston-based Binx said. 

Epigenetics firm VolitionRx this week joined the prospective study, Lyonnaise Initiative for the Initiation of Lung Cancer Screening (ILYAD), that is evaluating the performance of blood biomarkers in the early detection of lung cancer. The study, being run out of the Hospices Civils de Lyon in France, will investigate the performance of Volition's Nu.Q blood test alone and in conjunction with a CT scan as a method to detect lung cancer early. Volition's test identifies and measures nucleosomes in the bloodstream that can indicate the presence of cancer. 

Lucid Diagnostics, a subsidiary of PAVmed, said this week that it has started producing its EsoCheck esophageal cell collection devices at Coastline International, a high-volume manufacturer based in San Diego with plants in Mexico. Over the past year, Lucid has worked with Coastline to transfer its manufacturing line from a low-volume manufacturer to Coastline's facility. As a result, per-unit manufacturing costs of EsoCheck devices have decreased by approximately 60 percent, and capacity is now at about 20,000 units per year, allowing Lucid to increase its EsoGuard Esophageal DNA testing volumes. 

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.