A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Clinical Data (Newton, Massachusetts), a provider of molecular and pharmacogenomics services and genetic tests, said that it has licensed from the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research of the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota) a variety of patents and patent applications that provide testing of the UGT1A1 gene.

The company also reported that it has exclusively licensed to Mayo Clinic certain of its own UGT1A1-related patent rights.

UGT1A1 is involved in metabolism of irinotecan (Camptosar), a commonly prescribed first-line treatment for advanced colorectal cancer. Though effective, irinotecan can cause dangerous or lethal reactions in up to 30% of the population due to the inability to properly metabolize the drug. The FDA has recently revised the labeling for Camptosar to recommend reduced dosing in patients who test homozygous for the *28 variant of UGT1A1.

An estimated 145,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, making it the third most common cancer. Up to 50% of cases are candidates for irinotecan therapy.

Drew Fromkin, president/CEO of Clinical Data, said, "By reaching this agreement with Mayo Clinic, Clinical Data is now among a select group of laboratories licensed to offer a pharmacogenomic test for UGT1A1*28. This important test marks our second pharmacogenomic assay in the oncology sector. Additionally, by out-licensing our own UGT1A1-related IP to Mayo Clinic, Clinical Data is enabling Mayo's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology to continue further development of assays addressing this important pathway."

Clinical Data is organized under three worldwide divisions: PGxHealth; Cogenics; and Vital Diagnostics.

The Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic incorporates discoveries from diagnostic and biotechnology companies and academic organizations, offering them to more than 5,000 healthcare institutions through Mayo Medical Laboratories.

In other dealmaking activity:

  • In response to an unsolicited bid from a third party to acquire all of the outstanding securities of Applied Imaging (AI; San Jose, California), Applied Imaging reported that its definitive agreement to be acquired by Genetix Group (New Milton, UK) was amended on Nov. 2. The amendment reflects another increase in the consideration payable by Genetix to Applied Imaging's stockholders — from $3.70 per share to $3.80 per share.

This marked the second time in less than a week that the per-share price was increased due to third part interest. On Oct. 27, Genetix increased the share price from $3.50 to $3.70.

The original deal, first disclosed in September, called for Genetix to pay $18 million.

A special meeting to approve the proposed acquisition is expected to take place Nov. 21 at AIs.

AI is a supplier of automated imaging and image analysis systems for the detection and characterization of chromosomes and molecular markers in genetics and cancer applications.

The company markets a variety of imaging and image analysis systems for fluorescence and brightfield microscopy, including the company's Ariol and CytoVision product families. The company is also developing a system for the detection, quantification and characterization of circulating tumor cells from the blood of cancer patients.

Genetix provides applications for cell biology, proteomic and genomic research.

  • Microlife (Dunedin, Florida), a developer of diagnostic equipment such as blood pressure monitors, thermometers, peak flow devices, reported that it has acquired HealtheTech (Golden, Colorado), a provider of advanced diagnostic devices and software that measure and monitor health parameters used to manage weight, nutrition and fitness.

Microlife will now expand its product lines and services formerly available from HealtheTech, including BodyGem, MedGem, HealtheLog, and BalanceLog under the Microlife brand. The company says that BodyGem and MedGem "are the only products of their kind that accurately measure daily caloric needs to ensure a weight management program is properly tailored to meet individual daily caloric needs."

Microlife said the purchase brings together complementary products and allows it to offer solutions specifically geared to weight management. This will help it transition from a "product provider to a solution provider, in healthcare."

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