September News and Product Briefs

October 2, 2014

News Briefs 

Caris Life Sciences has adopted IBM technical computing and storage technology to accelerate its molecular profiling services for cancer patients. These services help oncologists develop tailored therapeutic plans for each patient’s unique cancer. Caris has tested more than 65,000 cancer patients for 70 different molecular markers, which are then correlated with 55 FDA-approved cancer therapies and hundreds of clinical trials agents.  Working with IBM and premier IBM Business Partner Re-Store, Caris has developed a scalable infrastructure to profile both genomic and proteomic data, expanding the range of molecular targets it can use to recommend therapies. Press release   

Avalon Ventures announced the launch of two new companies formed through its collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to fund and launch up to 10 early-stage life science companies. Silarus Therapeutics, Inc. and Thyritope Biosciences, Inc. each will receive up to $10 million in Series A financing and R&D support from Avalon Ventures and GSK. Both companies will be located at COI Pharmaceuticals in San Diego. The collaboration between Avalon Ventures and GSK was established in April 2013 and will provide up to $495 million to fund a total of 10 new companies through preclinical proof of concept. Press release    

Scholar Rock, a biotechnology company focused on niche modulators that selectively target protein growth factors in the disease microenvironment, announced a $20 million Series A financing.  ARCH Venture Partners, a new investor, led the round with the participation of founding investors, Polaris Partners and Timothy Springer, and new investors, EcoR1 Capital and The Kraft Group. Scholar Rock’s drug discovery programs include a collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation to discover and develop novel biologic therapeutics that regulate signaling in the immune system by targeting TGF-beta 1. Press release 

Qlucore, a bioinformatics software developer, has established a partnership with South Korean company Commugene to offer researchers in South Korea’s biotechnology industry easier access to the Qlucore Omics Explorer. Commugene produces diagnostics instruments and reagents for autoimmune disease, blood transfusion, thrombosis, and transplantation. Press release 

New Products   

Eagle Genomics launched Eaglecore, a cloud-based platform that integrates data capture from new experiments and legacy data. Eaglecore customers use their web browsers to annotate their own R&D data with external metadata, describing its provenance and content. Curated data can then be shared with colleagues and external collaborators. The metadata can be used to mine for previously unknown connections between existing datasets in the archives, and to identify new hypotheses, keeping track of an organization’s entire data assets as individual researchers come and go. Press release 

Tute Genomics announced the launch of MyGene, a patient portal that offers individual access to genome sequencing results. MyGene is an extension of Tute’s cloud-based clinical report builder, allowing healthcare organizations to select and share validated clinical genetics findings with patients in a mobile format. Doctors, labs and diagnostic companies can use MyGene to create customized clinical reports, including pre-built, drag-and-drop modules for various gene panels, ACMG incidental findings, pharmacogenetics, and more. Press release 

The non-profit tranSMART Foundation released Version 1.2 of its open source tranSMART knowledge management platfor, offering extensions in analytics and analysis, data loading, search and retrieval, as well as improved developer tools and interfaces that facilitate the addition of new features in the future. Community and member organizations contributed new features such as genome-wide association studies (GWAS), integration with the R statistical platform, cross study analysis, new data types, and new search and browse tools. This release, for the first time, provides the capability to integrate a number of different profiling data, such as mRNA, microRNA, and metabolomic, with genetic data based on individual patients. Press release  

EpiCypher, introduced EpiTitan, a histone peptide array. EpiTitan is designed for high-throughput screening of effector protein interaction, antibody binding and enzyme activity.  The peptides on the array encompass over 95 modifications on the four core histones, along with several histone variants, making EpiTitan the most comprehensive platform on the market.  The arrays can be used to examine the selectivity and specificity of histone modification antibodies, analyze the specificity of histone binding proteins and identify substrates of histone modifying enzymes. Product page 

Randox received FDA clearance for the use of the Acusera Immunoassay Premium Plus in US laboratories as a quality control for biomarker tests. A multi-analyte control, the Acusera assay combines 52 analytes including tumor markers, hormones, therapeutic drugs and Vitamin D. The Acusera assay is manufactured from highly screened human serum, reducing the possibility of lot-to-lot variations when changing control batches. It is the only third party multi-analyte immunoassay QC in the US that contains clinically relevant levels of Vitamin D, and includes Ferritin and Vitamin B12 at levels suitable for anemia monitoring. Press release   

Axio Research announced the launch of Statistical Genetics and Genomics services in response to the biopharmaceutical industry’s need for statistical support in the analysis and interpretation of genomic data for drug discovery and development, drug repositioning, and companion diagnostics development. David Henderson has joined the company as Director of Statistical Genetics. The new service will apply statistical and computational methods for analysis of large-scale data sets from genome-wide association studies, as well as methylation, gene expression, genotyping, and copy-number variation experiments. The service will also assist clients in experimental design and developing tools for analysis and for graphical display of results. Press release