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March News and Product Briefs

March 27, 2014 | Industry news and product releases from the past month:

News Briefs 

Spark Therapeutics and Genable Technologies announced a collaboration to develop and produce a gene therapy product, centered on Genable’s lead therapeutic to treat rhodopsin-linked autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. Genable will license adeno-associated virus vector manufacturing patents from Spark, which will become the exclusive manufacturer of the product and aid in its ongoing development. Press release 

QIAGEN announced new capabilities for GeneGlobe, the company's genes & pathways web portal providing access to biological assays. In this update, the Ingenuity Target Explorer bioinformatics application is integrated with GeneGlobe's library of wet lab assay solutions to link biological interpretation and references with the relevant laboratory assays. Ingenuity Target Explorer tools provide information on each gene of interest and its molecular pathways. Press release 

XstalBio launched a new vaccine service centered on its solid state Circular Dichroism technique, which provides structural data on biopharmaceutical antigens. The service includes physico-chemical methodologies for vaccine characterization and release, formulation development and stability testing. Press release 

Empiriko, a clinical intelligence company, and Interchim, Inc., a creator of laboratory instruments, announced a partnership to link Interchim's PuriFlash mass spectrometry technology with Empiriko’s Biomimiks chemosynthetic livers, for near real-time invitro and ex-vivo drug metabolism studies. Pharmaceutical scientists can use this combination to predict metabolism patterns, pathways and profiles, generate a complete spectrum of oxidative metabolites for specific drugs, and evaluate the genotoxicity, drug-to-drug interactions and efficacy associated with adding a new drug to a patient's drug regimen. Press release 

Insight Genetics, Inc. is collaborating with Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) to refine the classification and treatment of patients diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Insight Genetics will identify genetic markers to help select the targeted therapeutics most effective for each individual TNBC patient. The project will build on work by Jennifer Pietenpol’s lab at VICC, examining gene expression data from more than 500 TNBC cases and identifying up to six distinct sub-types of triple-negative breast cancers. Press release 

RainDance Technologies, a genomics tools company specializing in molecular testing of complex diseases, closed a $16.5 million Series E financing round extension. New investors include GE Ventures and Northgate Capital; all existing financial investors also participated in this round of financing. The additional investment will be put toward assay development for the company’s RainDrop digital PCR system, ThunderStorm targeted sequencing system, and ThunderBolts cancer panel. Press release 

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego applied “flash” memory technology to process data sets from the whole-genome sequencing of 438 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, in a project collaborating with Janssen Research and Development and the Scripps Translational Science Institute. The analysis performed read mapping and variant calling on 50 terabytes of read data. Press release 

TeraDiscoveries and Egenix are collaborating in the design of new drugs targeting cancer and autism. Egenix will provide funding and target data, while TeraDiscoveries will use its Inverse Design software platform to design molecules to inhibit those targets, screening for predicted druggable properties and low toxicity. Press release 

C3i was selected by CFS Clinical to provide global multilingual technology support services for their Site Activation and Investigator Payment Services. The service desk is supporting active clinical trial sites in nearly 50 countries and 12 languages. Later in 2014, additional languages will be added to manage CFS’ continued scaling, supported out of C3i’s Dalian Operations Center. Press release 

New Products 

Optibrium and Integrated Chemistry Design released Asteris, an iPad app that combines chemistry drawing tools with visually rendered predictive modeling. Asteris enables researchers to evaluate new compound ideas on a mobile platform. The app uses Chirys Draw’s chemical drawing tools, and StarDrop’s predictive models with Glowing Molecule visualization, to calculate a range of core properties like logP, molecular weight, polar surface area, and hydrogen bond donors, and predict over ten ADME properties, including solubility, hERG inhibition, and CNS penetration. Press release 

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Biomedical Informatics introduced Proband, an app allowing genetic counselors and other healthcare providers to create pedigrees on an iPad. Users can store the pedigrees in a standardized format, make corrections, and export the diagrams so they can be used in other applications such as electronic medical records. Proband uses a simple, gesture-based interface to make drawing pedigrees in the app as efficient as drawing on paper. Press release 

PerkinElmer announced the launch of the Elements platform, a cloud-based expandable scientific collaboration tool for students and researchers. The Elements platform provides secure record-keeping to eliminate the need for investment in digital infrastructure. The application framework supports modular apps that can be combined into scientific experiments, allowing PerkinElmer to continually create and deploy new apps for academic and commercial users. Product page 

EMC added Documentum R&D to its Life Sciences Solution Suite 3.0. As part of the Solution Suite, Documentum R&D is designed to streamline the regulatory submissions process. It includes a content repository to manage documents, template-based processing, and collaborative authoring capabilities, while maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements. Product page 

Veeva Systems introduced Veeva CRM Engage, a cloud-based application for interaction between life sciences organizations and healthcare professionals over the web and through mobile devices. Engage adds an online channel to Veeva’s Commercial Suite, which also supports face-to-face, phone, and email customer interactions. Engage also captures all web activities in Veeva CRM for further analysis, so companies can adapt digital content to accommodate physician preferences. Press release 

Panasas, Inc. released PanFS 5.5, a major storage operating system update for its ActiveStor scale-out NAS appliances. Panasas now addresses a wider range of business-critical applications, replacing its previous open source Samba implementation with a commercially licensed, Microsoft-compliant protocol offering reliable Windows interoperability. PanFS 5.5 users can access their data sets from Windows, Linux, and UNIX systems. Press release 


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