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September News and Product Briefs


News Briefs

Optibrium will join the HeCaToS (Hepatic and Cardiac Toxicity Systems) project, a major European project to investigate the health impact of compounds on the heart and liver. The EU is providing twelve million Euros for the project, which is co-ordinated by Maastricht UMC+. In the course of the project, Optibrium will extend and advance its unique quantum mechanical models that predict metabolism by Cytochrome P450 enzymes, while further developments will focus on predicting the formation of reactive or toxic metabolites. Optibrium has recruited new members to its R&D team to facilitate this project, including Dr. Patrik Rydberg as Associate Director of Computational Chemistry. Patrik joins Optibrium from the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology at the University of Copenhagen. Press release 

CROS NT SRL acquired Stat‐Tech Services, LLC, a Contract Research Organization (CRO) with extensive experience in the medical devices sector. CROS NT, an international CRO, specializes in biometrics services; this deal expands CROS NT’s geographical reach into the U.S. while adding critical mass to its operation. Stat‐Tech Services, LLC is based in Chapel Hill, NC and has been providing biometrics services since 1996. The company has supported numerous approvals in medical devices (501(k)s and PMAs), biologics, and pharmaceutical indications. Stat‐Tech will operate as a business line within CROS NT, trading as “Stat‐Tech Services, part of CROS NT Group.” Press release 

INC Research, a therapeutically focused global clinical research organization (CRO), became the first global CRO to implement the Clinical Research Monitor Accreditation program, an internationally recognized standard for competence in clinical research monitoring offered through the International Academy of Clinical Research.  The new Clinical Credentialing program standardizes training of clinical research associates (CRAs) and establishes INC Research as the first accredited training center in the U.S. By ensuring its CRAs meet the Clinical Credentialing standard, INC is positioned to reduce risks to patients and lower error rates, thereby helping to accelerate new treatments to market. Press release 

Covance, Inc. announced the launch of external laboratory management services, a new offering that provides biopharmaceutical companies with a comprehensive management solution for external laboratory testing associated with clinical trials. The new Covance services will be managed by a dedicated team within Covance's central laboratory services and complement Covance's capabilities in central laboratory testing, biosample management and data services, freeing pharmaceutical companies from the challenges of managing multiple laboratory testing vendors. Press release 

CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services (CTI) announced the hiring of Edward A. Kouche III, CPA as Director of International Accounting and Finance. Kouche comes to CTI from INC Research (formerly Kendle International), where he worked for nearly 15 years, serving as International Controller, Corporate Controller, and Manager, Consolidations and SEC Reporting. He has over 20 years of experience in all accounting and financial matters for North America, Latin America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region, and in overseeing integration between companies during acquisitions and mergers. CTI also announced that it had opened an office in Milan, Italy, operated through its newly created wholly-owned subsidiary, CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services Italy, S.R.L. Press release 

CiDrep and ABEL Medical Software, Inc. enetered into a strategic alliance, through which CiDrep will deliver both Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Client-Server Healthcare IT solutions for ABELMed's integrated electronic health record (EHR), practice management (PM) and e-Prescribing solutions for new and existing physician practice clients. The alliance brings together CiDrep's clinical and healthcare informatics consulting capabilities with ABELMed's comprehensive clinical and practice management functionality to allow seamless and better coordination of patient care. Press release 

Virtify, Inc. and Forte Research Systems, Inc. announced the integration of Forte Research Systems’ OnCore Enterprise Research system with Virtify CTRR (Clinical Trial Registration & Results). The integration of the two systems will optimize the submission process of clinical trials into the National Institute of Health’s clinicaltrials.gov, ensuring compliance with disclosure requirements of the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA). Virtify CTRR streamlines and automates the mandatory registration and clinical results disclosure obligations to the NIH and other registries, and polls Forte’s OnCore hourly to ensure updated data between the two systems. The OnCore system is used by more than 50 academic medical centers, research hospitals, and cancer centers. Press release 

Novartis has entered into an exclusive global licensing and research collaboration agreement with biopharmaceutical company Regenerex LLC for the use of the company’s innovative Facilitating Cell Therapy (FCRx) platform.  FCRx will broaden the current Novartis cell therapy portfolio, which includes two novel cell therapy platforms initially being investigated in hematological malignancies. Press release 

BGI Health Americas, a U.S. subsidiary of BGI, has opened an office at the University City Science Center’s Port business incubator in Philadelphia. In partnership with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, BGI Health Americas will offer next generation sequencing in a CAP/CLIA certified facility to address problems in clinical diagnostics and personalized healthcare via its joint genome sequencing facility. Four other new startups joining BGI at the Port are educational online tool developer Choosito!; biotech companies AUM LifeTech and CytoVas; and a Belgian clinical trial company, S-Clinica. BGI and S-Clinica are participants in the Port’s Global Soft Landing program, which supports international companies establishing a foothold in U.S. markets. Press release

Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute (OTRADI) announced that it had filled the state’s first bioscience-specific incubator within two months of opening. OTRADI most recently welcomed Floragenex Inc. as its final OTRADI Bioscience Incubator (OBI) client company, filling the 13,000 square-foot complex and creating a charter group of five fledgling bioscience businesses. The OBI will house up-and-coming businesses 13therapeutics, Aronora, AbSci, Floragenex, and Senju Pharmaceutical. Since joining the OBI, several client companies have already celebrated significant milestones, including 13therapeutics and Aronora, which received a collective $3 million in funding this year from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Press release

MolecularHealth announced the first four members of its U.S. executive team, all of whom come from US Oncology. The company plans to launch its genetic cancer diagnostics services commercially in the first quarter of 2014, and is in the process of getting its CLIA-certified lab set up outside of Houston. Press release 


New Products

YarcData, a Cray company, released a major software update to its big data graph analytics appliance Urika that enhances performance for real-time data discovery and eases integration with leading 3rd party enterprise BI and visualization tools. Enhancements include: integration with familiar enterprise data discovery tools based on SPARQL and RDF, JDBC, JSON and Apache Jena; targeted performance improvements in the SPARQL query engine that enable Urika to handle key operations on aggregate functions up to 400 times faster; and new workflow features to support data discovery. These enhancements enable enterprise customers to automate the discovery of unknown relationships and non-obvious patterns in diverse data sets without the need for pre-modeling, partitioning or knowing all the questions in advance. Press release 

Quantum Corp. released StorNext 5 appliances. Based on a re-architected high-performance engine, StorNext 5 gives users the choice of the best topology for their needs by providing optimized support for IP, NAS, SAN, and cloud-based networks. The new StorNext 5 appliances deliver up to 10 times greater performance and five times the scalability of previous StorNext versions and are optimized for evolving end-to-end content and data workflows where distributed teams need greater efficiency for handling large and small unstructured data files. StorNext 5 also provides an intelligent framework for unified management of flash, disk, tape and object storage technologies from a single interface. Press release 

SoftGenetics released the latest version of its NGS analysis software, which includes optimized algorithms that increase analysis speed up to 60%; a sophisticated new algorithm and visualization of copy‐number variation (CNV) detection from projects including whole‐exome and targeted sequencing panels; and the ability to include and visualize custom, COSMIC and ESP databases. Also included in the newly released version is the ability to create a fully automated analysis pipeline from sequencing platform, analysis of raw data or BAM files and filing of analysis into the company’s Geneticist Assistant NGS Interpretative Workbench; advanced trimming options which prevent overtrimming of overlapping amplicons; a hovering feature to immediately visualize essential sequence statistics; and a new user management tool. Press release

Linguamatics announced the latest release of its software platform, I2E. Version 4.1 provides more streamlined access to content through linking enterprise servers with content servers in the cloud, and enhanced chemical querying capabilities. I2E's new Linked Server functionality facilitates easier access to text mining across different content silos, whether from in-house data or content served from the cloud. This federated approach enables faster linking of extracted information from diverse unstructured data sources such as scientific literature, clinical data, patents and in-house information. I2E's enhanced chemical querying capability introduces faster, more scalable substructure and similarity searching within the context of sophisticated natural language queries, and integrates chemical structure drawing, using chemistry components from ChemAxon. Press release

Definiens AG and Advanced Cell Diagnostics (ACD) announced the commercial launch of RNAscope SpotStudio, a custom-designed image analysis software application for ACD's RNAscope Assays to detect and quantify RNA biomarkers. By combining state-of-the-art image analysis and advanced in situ hybridization technologies, gene expression can be measured quantitatively at single cell resolution and interpreted by pathologists in context. RNAscope SpotStudio Software is designed to be intuitive for pathologists and life science researchers to use and generate standardized and objective results in minutes, and is compatible for use with whole slide scanners and microscopes. Press release

Advanced Chemistry Development, Inc. (ACD/Labs) released ChemAnalytical Workbook, an all-in-one experiment, workflow, and data management tool that allows scientists to document analytical information and benefit from the knowledge gained in future projects. Designed for organic chemists and analysts working with formulated products, ChemAnalytical Workbook offers multi-technique analytical data processing and interpretation, with support for more than 150 instrument file formats. It enables the building of analytical databases with structures and interpretation information attached, for instant re-use of data. ChemAnalytical Workbook can be a replacement to paper notebooks, offering a searchable repository that captures live analytical data, and can track samples and projects and automate routine analytical tasks. Press release 

PerkinElmer, Inc. has announced enhancements for its Operetta High Content Imaging System, designed to improve the ability of scientists to perform live cell assays with higher throughput.  The Operetta system's new capabilities include brightfield imaging and environmental chamber options, and a new transmitted light digital phase-contrast mode that enables users to image and segment live cells without using fluorescent dyes. In addition to the live cell imaging capabilities, the upgraded Operetta system is integrated with advanced informatics solutions, such as PerkinElmer's Columbus Image Data Storage and Analysis System for high content imaging data, and the TIBCO Spotfire software for data analysis and visualization which enables users to easily combine findings across experiments. Press release

Thermo Fisher Scientific launched the Thermo Scientific picoSpin80, a portable NMR spectrometer built for benchtop operation. The instrument’s magnet, rated at 2 Tesla,is designed to provide superior resolution of chemical and structural characteristics not available using lower magnetic field strengths. The picoSpin 80 spectrometer features and benefits include a temperature-controlled magnet that does not require liquid cryogens; a lightweight, portable design intended to make it easy to share the instrument across multiple laboratories; and an easy-to-operate fluid capillary system that does not require NMR tubes or other consumables. Press release 


Free Trials

BioFriends recently released VectorFriends, a program that offers integrated bioinformatic tools for sequence analysis and in silico molecular biology. You can try VectorFriends 1.1 for free at www.vectorfriends.com/downloads.html.

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15 Biotechs to Watch | Sep 22, 2014
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