HTG Partners Up, Shares Fly

HTG Molecular Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ: HTGM) had some "hitch" in its "giddyup" Wednesday, after the company reported an expansion of collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc. related to Assay development and the manufacturing of kits supporting research programs.

The Tucson-based company, which provides instruments, reagents and services for molecular profiling applications, today announced a new Master Collaboration Agreement for translational programs with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company.

A news release issued Tuesday states the Master Collaboration Agreement complements the previously announced Master Companion Diagnostic Agreement with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and includes a statement of work with EMD Serono, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in the United States and Canada.

According to HTG CEO T J Johnson, "We are pleased to expand our relationship with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, into earlier research stages of their programs, and have already begun work on an initial custom assay development program.

"They are terrific partners, and we appreciate the confidence their teams have placed in us and our HTG EdgeSeq technology."

Under the first program statement of work, HTG plans to develop and manufacture a custom profiling assay to support biomarker research for six indications within Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s drug development pipeline. The assay is expected to be kitted for use on HTG EdgeSeq instruments acquired by Merck KGaA and/or their contract research organization partners.

The price of the shares improved more than 22 cents each, or 11.5%, by noon ET Wednesday to $2.16.