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Vertiv, Pure Storage, And More: News From August 2020



August 25, 2020 | August featured exciting new, products, and partnerships from around the bio-IT community from innovating companies, organizations, and universities, including Vertiv, Pure Storage, and more.

Elsevier has acquired SciBite, a semantic AI company headquartered in Cambridge, UK, to help customers make faster, more effective R&D decisions through advanced text and data intelligence solutions. SciBite’s solutions identify and extract scientific insights from structured and unstructured text and content, to identify key concepts such as drugs, proteins, companies, targets, and outcomes. This semantically-enriched, machine-readable data, helps SciBite’s customers around the world make streamlined, more efficient decisions. The company’s SciBite’s major products include: TERMite, an AI and ontology driven text analysis engine; DOCstore, which transforms search through semantic indexing; and CENtree, a next-generation collaborative ontology management platform. These are complemented by a suite of apps that support its core technology and allow customers to automate data-curation and manage terminology standards. SciBite’s solutions will enable Elsevier to further develop its Life Sciences Solutions services, the company says, such as: Reaxys, which powers chemistry research and development; Embase, the world’s most comprehensive international database of biomedical information; and Entellect, its FAIR data compliant platform that integrates, stores, and enriches client data with Elsevier and third-party content into a common analytical environment. Press release.

Researchers from Waseda University in Japan have demonstrated a new method of producing alicyclic compounds, 3D structures formed when three or more carbon atoms join in a ring via covalent bonds, but the ring is not aromatic. Their study is published in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemical Science. In the novel method, bromoarenes are reacted with two other classes of organic compounds, diazo compounds and malonates, in the presence of a palladium catalyst (compound that enables a chemical reaction), under optimal conditions of concentration, temperature, and time (experimentally ascertained in the study). Subsequently, good amounts of the corresponding alicyclic compounds are produced. Press release.

Vertiv introduced Vertiv Environet Alert, a new software offering that brings enterprise-level infrastructure monitoring and management capabilities to smaller data centers and edge facilities. Vertiv Environet Alert is affordable and easy to use, eliminating the two most common barriers to the deployment of monitoring and management tools in these types of environments. It is available globally through Vertiv and numerous channel partners. Vertiv Environet Alert delivers real-time, vendor-agnostic monitoring of critical infrastructure systems and alerts the appropriate personnel immediately when those systems are at risk. The software acts as a single pane of glass, with a new, modern and intuitive user interface that delivers visibility and data to users. Users can customize the data points that are monitored and reported to focus on what they need to most effectively protect and optimize their business. “SMBs often lack robust visibility over their networks because monitoring and management solutions for critical infrastructure have not been able to economically scale for smaller operations,” said Steve Lalla, executive vice president for service and software solutions at Vertiv, in a press release. “This lack of purpose-built monitoring has an impact on business functionality by increasing risk and costs. Vertiv Environet Alert provides the required functionality to stay connected with critical infrastructure and ensure necessary business continuity.” Vertiv Environet Alert provides superior monitoring, alerting, trending and data organization capabilities for companies in such verticals as healthcare, financial services, government, education and other industries that rely on smaller data centers and edge facilities. It is compatible with SNMP devices and integrates via a published API with other network management tools, data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software, and building management systems to enable a complete view of network operations and streamline management of those systems. Press release

Vertiv also introduced the Vertiv Avocent HMX 6500R receiver, a high-performance KVM receiver that allows users of Avocent HMX KVM switches to seamlessly switch between virtual and physical machines from their workstation. The Avocent HMX 6500R does not require additional transmitters to access virtual machines, opening up fast, easy access and control to data and files all across today’s complex IT environments. It is available in North America. The IP-based Avocent HMX 6500R integrates seamlessly with existing Avocent HMX KVM systems, allowing secure, unlimited access to virtual machines across enterprise and colocation facilities. It eliminates the distance limitations inherent when physical connections are required, while still delivering an uncompromised desktop experience. The Avocent HMX 6500R offers DisplayPort video capabilities and expands data and file access in broadcast control rooms and postproduction facilities, mass transit control centers, government agencies, and for any organizations with hybrid IT architectures. Press release

Pure Storage announced that the McArthur lab at McMaster University is using Pure’s FlashBlade as its backbone in the fight against antibiotic resistance in superbugs through data. As superbug resistance and the growing global scourge of COVID-19 places modern medicine under siege, the McArthur Lab is fighting back. Somewhere in the millions of data points processed in the lab daily, there’s a new treatment waiting to be discovered. In charge of the lab is genomics professor and researcher Andrew McArthur. He is using Pure’s technology to accelerate decision-making in the fight against life-threatening superbugs and viruses like COVID-19. To support this mission, McArthur made the decision to use FlashBlade, the most advanced unified fast file and object storage platform designed to handle highly complex processes associated with massive genomic datasets. This sped up the time to research and seek cures for superbugs. When COVID-19 hit, the lab was able to pivot immediately and leverage the innovative high-performance infrastructure already in place to combat the virus. “There’s no point in playing with traditional storage because it’s just not fast enough,” said Andrew G. McArthur, McMaster University, in a press release. “With Pure Storage we can stay ahead of the curve as we fight global threats to human health.” Press release

Thermo Fisher Scientific has expanded deployment model options for SampleManager LIMS software, offering laboratories end-to-end support of the software deployment in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. Under a contract agreement, Thermo Fisher will manage the entire deployment process from installation and maintenance to backup and recovery. As a result, laboratories will benefit from significantly reduced financial and human resource investment associated with setting-up, running and maintaining traditional on-premise deployments or deployments to their own cloud hosting service. At the same time, laboratories will retain control over the software upgrades and validation schedule, while taking advantage of unlimited and secure access to data from anywhere at any time, which will drive well-informed decision making and easier cross-collaboration. Furthermore, AWS Cloud deployment will enable unparalleled levels of scalability, with the LIMS expanding to meet evolving business needs. Press release

Thermo Fisher Scientific also announce a new portfolio of hematology-oncology assays for the Ion Torrent Genexus System designed to enable a future in which turnaround times for next-generation sequencing (NGS) results can be reduced to less than 24 hours. The Oncomine Myeloid Assay GX is the first in a series of clinical research assays available from the new suite of hematology-oncology solutions. The new panel enables simultaneous analysis of DNA mutations and RNA fusion transcripts in myeloid samples in a single day. It also provides researchers the ability to profile 40 DNA targets and 29 fusion driver genes, enabling detection of more than 600 fusion isotypes to identify biomarkers associated with myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN), acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Press release

Adaptive Biotechnologies received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its clonoSEQ Assay to detect and monitor minimal residual disease (MRD) in blood or bone marrow from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). clonoSEQ is the first and only FDA-cleared in vitro diagnostic for MRD monitoring in CLL. This clearance expands the existing FDA-cleared uses of clonoSEQ, as the FDA previously granted the assay De Novo designation for the detection and monitoring of MRD in bone marrow from multiple myeloma and B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients. Access to clonoSEQ for CLL patients nationwide is supported by the already-established Medicare coverage of clonoSEQ in CLL, as well as by the FDA’s clearance of clonoSEQ testing for CLL patients in blood and marrow. Medicare coverage is critically important in CLL, as nearly 80 percent of patients living with CLL in the U.S. are of Medicare age. clonoSEQ’s ability to detect MRD in blood provides CLL patients and health care providers with a more convenient and less intrusive option to monitor disease burden. Press release

Caris announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Elevation Oncology to enhance patient enrollment practices for genomically-driven, tumor-agnostic clinical trials. Using Caris’ suite of market-leading molecular profiling offerings, the Caris Pharmatech Just-In-Time (JIT) clinical trial solutions, and the Caris Precision Oncology Alliance (POA) network, the companies will improve traditional enrollment in Elevation Oncology’s registration-directed Phase 2 CRESTONE trial through the real-time, nationwide identification of eligible patients with neuregulin-1 (NRG1) fusion-positive tumors and use of flexible enrollment models for rapid initiation of study treatment. “We are pleased to partner with Elevation Oncology and look forward to working with them to enhance their clinical trial recruitment efforts, with the ultimate goal of reducing the disease burden on NRG1 fusion-positive patients across a range of solid tumors,” said David Spetzler, President and Chief Scientific Officer, in a press release. “The future of cancer treatment depends on today’s clinical trials, and we are excited to use our industry-leading suite of precision medicine technologies to address the challenges typically encountered in genomically-driven, tumor-agnostic trials.” Under the terms of the agreement, Caris will help Elevation Oncology identify patients with advanced solid tumors that harbor the NRG1 fusions for participation in Elevation Oncology’s CRESTONE trial. Eligible patients will be confirmed for participation in Elevation Oncology’s Phase 2 CRESTONE trial of seribantumab in adult patients with recurrent, locally advanced or metastatic solid tumors that harbor the NRG1 gene fusion. Press release

Purigen announced the launch of the Ionic FFPE to Pure RNA Kit. In one hour with minimal hands-on time, scientists are able to purify and concentrate higher yields of RNA, including messenger RNA (mRNA) and microRNA (miRNA), from precious formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue specimens. Currently, the vast majority of clinical samples used in oncology research are stored as FFPE tissues, which often contain degraded or fragmented nucleic acids. Labor-intensive workflows are required to purify nucleic acids from these samples prior to molecular analysis. In contrast to traditional column-based methods, the Ionic FFPE to Pure RNA Kit simplifies and accelerates this process, enabling researchers and clinicians to extract both mRNA and miRNA in a single automated workflow. The resulting RNA is pure, abundant, and ready for analysis by any downstream technique such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) or PCR for the rapid discovery of genes that may be predictive of a disease outcome or drug response, or identification of known gene expression profiles. “There is a pressing biomedical need to generate high-quality information from the wealth of FFPE samples available in biobanks and other sample collections. The Ionic FFPE to Pure RNA Kit will enable scientists to maximize the amount of actionable information extracted from these precious but challenging clinical samples,” said Barney Saunders, CEO of Purigen, in a press release. “Access to higher yields of high-quality mRNA and miRNA from a single workflow that requires minimal hands-on time can accelerate all of the research projects dependent on FFPE samples.” The Ionic FFPE to Pure RNA Kit utilizes the company’s core isotachophoresis (ITP) technology and runs on the Ionic Purification System, a compact benchtop instrument that enables the automated extraction of nucleic acids with increased yields and improved purity from a wide range of sample types. Biological samples are gently lysed and then loaded into the Ionic Fluidic Chip. The Ionic System then applies an electric field to the chip, and nucleic acids are isolated in their natural, native form using ITP technology. The nucleic acids are not denatured or dehydrated, or bound and stripped from fixed surfaces. The process minimizes fragmentation and eliminates any bead or buffer contamination. Press release

RUCDR Infinite Biologics relaunched as Infinity BiologiX (IBX) after the sale of its business and assets by Rutgers University. The IBX​ team, including more than 400 scientists and technicians, will continue to operate at the Rutgers campus. The business received a significant infusion of growth capital from Viking Global Investors. With these milestones complete, IBX is now operationally and financially independent from Rutgers. The sale was approved by the Rutgers Board of Governors in June. IBX, which will maintain its academic and scientific connections to Rutgers, remains committed to RUCDR’s founding mission of understanding the genetic causes of common, complex diseases and discovering new diagnoses, treatments, and cures. As an independent organization, the company will be able to rapidly advance this mission while amplifying its commercial presence, including the development of new and unique biomaterial-based solutions in regenerative medicine and oncology. Leading the new company as Chief Executive and Scientific Officer will be Dr. Andrew Brooks, previously Chief Operating Officer of RUCDR. Brooks will retain an adjunct appointment as a Professor of Genetics at Rutgers. Other members of the IBX executive team include Robin Grimwood​, President & Chief Operating Officer, and Russell Hager, Executive VP and Strategic Operations, both of whom worked with RUCDR in previous roles. Press release

Medtronic announced the publication of the primary endpoint results from the IN.PACT AV Access trial in The New England Journal of Medicine. The results reinforce that the IN.PACT AV drug-coated balloon (DCB) limits the number of reinterventions needed to maintain blood flow (patency) in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who have arteriovenous (AV) fistulae, leading to fewer interruptions to their dialysis therapy. Nearly 2.5 million ESRD patients worldwide regularly undergo hemodialysis — many of whom require AV fistulae in order to receive continuous dialysis. For these patients, AV fistulae serve as lifelines, and maintaining access to these sites is essential. Vessels that feed the access site can narrow (restenose) over time, however, and patients often undergo multiple maintenance procedures per year to restore access site function. The need for frequent reinterventions can result in repeated hospital visits and significant disruptions to critical hemodialysis care. Therefore, by being able to maintain access site patency, patients may experience longer periods of successful, uninterrupted dialysis. “The six-month data demonstrate that with IN.PACT AV DCB, we can cut the number of reinterventions required to maintain vessel patency in half. This technology may positively impact patients’ quality of life, and demonstrate meaningful reductions in projected costs to the healthcare system,” said Robert Lookstein, U.S. study principal investigator, professor of radiology and surgery, executive vice-chair in the Department of Diagnostic, Molecular, and Interventional Radiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, New York, in a press release. “Right now, this is very important for ESRD patients on hemodialysis, who are at especially high risk of acquired infections. This technology may have the potential to allow these patients to experience continued, uninterrupted access to life-saving dialysis care, including fewer hospital visits to get their access sites maintained.” Press release

Cytel announced the launch of East Alloy. This new platform is a web-native extension of Cytel’s world-renowned East software for adaptive clinical trial design and analysis. By leveraging the speed of cloud computing and the pace of SaaS delivery, East Alloy enables easy implementation of computationally intensive Bayesian methods that may be otherwise impractical. The launch of East Alloy builds on Cytel’s time-tested record of delivering cutting-edge Bayesian tools and engines to the pharmaceutical industry for optimized clinical trials. Press release

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