American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
June 2011 Clinical Laboratory News: Industry Profiles

Definiens and Cernostics Partner to Develop Multiplex Cancer Tests

Definiens and Cernostics have teamed to develop multiplex molecular diagnostics tests for a variety of cancers. Cernostics will use Definiens’ Tissue Studio digital pathology technology to develop the tests. The Definiens technology allows pathologists to analyze cancers on the cellular and sub-cellular level. “The collaboration with Definiens will enable Cernostics to accelerate development of its pipeline of systems biology-based diagnostic, prognostic and predictive tests,” said Michael Hoerres, Cernostics’ CEO.

Quest Closes Cash Tender Offer for Celera

Quest Diagnostics has successfully completed a cash tender offer for all outstanding shares of Celera’s common stock and has begun a subsequent offering for shares that have not yet been tendered. The deal, completed through Quest’s wholly owned subsidiary, Spark Acquisition, cleared U.S. antitrust review. Quest announced its plan to purchase Celera in March. The total deal is valued at $671 million and gives Quest access to proprietary genetic tests and a research and development pipeline concentrated on cardiovascular disease, including Berkeley Heart Lab.

Definiens and Cernostics Partner to Develop Multiplex Cancer Tests

Definiens and Cernostics have teamed to develop multiplex molecular diagnostics tests for a variety of cancers. Cernostics will use Definiens’ Tissue Studio digital pathology technology to develop the tests. The Definiens technology allows pathologists to analyze cancers on the cellular and sub-cellular level. “The collaboration with Definiens will enable Cernostics to accelerate development of its pipeline of systems biology-based diagnostic, prognostic and predictive tests,” said Michael Hoerres, Cernostics’ CEO.

Med BioGene Shareholders Endorse Deal with Precision Therapeutics

Med BioGene’s shareholders have approved its commercialization partnership with Precision Therapeutics. The partnership gives Precision rights to commercialize Med BioGene’s LungExpress Dx assay. The gene expression-based test identifies patients with early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer who, following surgical removal of their tumor, are at variable risk of mortality. Under the terms of the deal, Precision will pay Med BioGene $2.3 million in licensing fees and research reimbursements within 120 days of the deal’s closing. 

Gene Security Network Gets NIH Grant to Fund Prenatal Test

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $2 million grant to genetic testing firm Gene Security Network (GSN) to conduct a clinical trial for its non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) technology. The firm will use the funding to conduct a randomized clinical trial for its Parental Support NIPD test. GSN expects its NIPD test to be able to identify several genetic disorders, including Down syndrome, by testing for very small amounts of fetal DNA in blood drawn from the mother during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Seegene and Samsung Ink Cancer MDx Deal

Seegene and Samsung Medical Center announced they will collaborate to develop new molecular diagnostics tests directed at cancer. According to the firms, the collaboration combines Seegene’s MDx technology with Samsung’s clinical and disease pathology knowledge. Samsung will provide the first test sites for the diagnostic products. The tests will be based on Seegene’s multiplex PCR and real-time PCR technology to detect genetic mutations suggestive of certain cancers. Initially the companies will focus on non-small-cell lung cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, and cholangiocarcinoma.

Myriad Genetics Buys Rules-Based Medicine

Myriad Genetics has signed a definitive deal to purchase molecular diagnostics developer Rules-Based Medicine for $80 million. The deal is designed to further develop Myriad’s companion diagnostics franchise. In addition, the acquisition will help expand the company’s portfolio into new disease areas including psychiatric disorders, infectious diseases, and inflammatory conditions. It also will add eight molecular diagnostic product candidates to Myriad’s pipeline. According to Myriad, the acquisition will provide it with access to patient cohorts for new diagnostic development and add protein discovery and analysis capabilities to Myriad’s existing DNA and RNA technologies.