Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. released updated software and new instructions for its Taqpath COVID-19 Combo Kit, a widely used COVID-19 test kit that is also the basis for several other coronavirus diagnostics, following issuance of a letter to clinical laboratory staff and health care providers by the U.S. FDA about the risk of false results with the test. Separately, the Waltham, Mass.-based company has released the first in a series of hematology-oncology assays designed to run on its Ion Torrent Genexus system.
It was one of the largest med-tech deals of the year. However, Qiagen NV shareholders were apparently not satisfied by Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.’s offer, with the voluntary public takeover bid not achieving the minimum 66.67% acceptance threshold. A total of 47% of the outstanding Qiagen shares were tendered into the offer of €43 (US$50.95) at the expiration of the acceptance period Aug. 10.
Thermo Fisher Scientific expanded its Globalaccess Sequencing Program to include oncology laboratories in addition to research labs working on COVID-19 studies. The company will subsidize a limited number of Genexus systems to help pathology laboratories around the world.
Thermo Fisher Scientific has joined forces with First Genetics JCS to commercialize next-generation sequencing (NGS) diagnostics in Russia. The agreement allows Moscow-based First Genetics to bring its F-Genetics NGS system and in vitro diagnostic assays for reproductive health testing to Russian labs.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is working with Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd. to develop a companion diagnostic (CDx) to identify non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) mutations who could be eligible for the Tokyo-based company's cancer drug, Enhertu.
TORONTO – The Government of Canada is fast tracking importation of two U.S. manufactured test kits for COVID-19, issuing an interim order for sale of the Cobas SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test kit developed by Pleasanton, Calif.-based Roche Molecular Systems Inc. and Waltham, Mass.-based Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.’s Taqpath COVID-19 Combo Kit.
The U.S. capacity for SARS-CoV-2 testing is limited by several items, including the swabs used to collect patient specimens, but the supply of reagents has been front and center recently. Despite those concerns, several private test makers said they are quickly ramping up production, including Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., of Waltham, Mass., which said it has enough supplies of all types on hand to provide 2 million reactions per week, a volume that should increase to 5 million per week in April.
The past week has seen a lot of movement in terms of tests to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. “It is notable that the diagnostics community is coming together in a way we have not seen in our 20 years covering this industry,” wrote William Blair analyst Brian Weinstein in a March 14 note. “Regulators, lab professionals, and manufacturers are all in a frenetic fury to try and get testing up and running, and we generally see a sense of ‘in it together’ playing out.”
The U.S. effort to deploy diagnostics for the novel coronavirus has been plagued by missteps by the CDC and the FDA from the outset, leading to delays and missed opportunities. The Trump administration declared a national emergency March 13, but concerns remain about how quickly the array of available tests can be conducted and whether there are enough testing supplies to handle the anticipated demand.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., of Waltham, Mass., has made a bold play in the molecular diagnostics market, including infectious disease testing, with its proposed $11.5 billion acquisition of Qiagen NV, of Venlo, Netherlands. Word of the deal comes after reports late last year that named Thermo Fisher as a potential suitor for Qiagen. However, in late December, Qiagen said it had wrapped up a review of potential strategic alternatives and decided its standalone business plan represented the best opportunity for value creation.