April News and Product Briefs

April 3, 2015

April 3, 2015News Briefs 

Reference Genomics, creators of the One Codex online platform for characterization of microbial DNA, has released larger, improved reference libraries. The RefSeq Database now includes over 7,000 reference genomes from NCBI, while the One Codex Database holds nearly 34,000 different bacterial, viral, fungal, and archeal genomes. All prior analyses in One Codex have been re-run against the updated reference libraries. (For more on One Codex, see “One Codex and Microbiology’s Search Problem.”) Product page 

QIAGEN expanded its portfolio of liquid biopsies through the acquisition of AdnaGen. AdnaGen’s proprietary technology enriches disease-specific tumor cells using magnetic particles in an antibody mixture, then isolates and purifies mRNA for analysis. QIAGEN also announced a partnership with Tokai Pharmaceuticals to combine this new circulating tumor cell technology with a molecular assay to co-develop a companion diagnostic for Tokai’s drug compound galeterone, which is in late-stage clinical trials for treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer.Press release 

Quanterix Corporation, manufacturer of the Simoa platform for high-throughput single molecule measurement, appointed Kevin Hrusovsky as as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Hrusovsky, who has previously served as President of Life Sciences and Technologies at PerkinElmer, CEO of Caliper Life Sciences, and CEO of Zymark, will continue to serve as Executive Chairman of the Quanterix Board of Directors. Hrusovsky has previously spoken with Bio-IT World about the Simoa platform and its potential clinical applications. Press release 

Qlucore, a developer of bioinformatics software, formed a partnership with TATAA Biocenter, an organizer of hands-on training in molecular diagnostics and a leading provider of genomic services in Europe. TATAA will use Qlucore’s Omics Explorer software when providing NGS data analyses for its clients, as well as in TATAA Biocenter’s NGS training courses. Press release 


BYTEGRID Holdings, a provider of multi-tenant data centers and IT infrastructure services, acquired Sidus BioData, which provides compliant hosting solutions for FDA and HIPAA-HITECH regulated companies. Sidus’ offerings in cloud hosting, managed hosting and IT regulatory consulting services provide solutions for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and health care companies, as well as federal, state and local government agencies. Press release

New Products 

Quest Diagnostics launched Neurome, a whole exome sequencing service designed to aid the diagnosis of rare neurological disorders in pediatric populations. Personalis, Inc., developed and performs the lab-developed test exclusively for Quest Diagnostics. Based on Personalis’ proprietary ACE Exome technology, Neurome specifically interrogates areas of the genome that affect the nervous system, including clinically interpretable genes as well as certain medically significant non-protein coding regions. The resulting test report provides sequencing findings and their clinical interpretation specific to the patient’s suspected disorder. Press release 

SCIEX announced collaborators in the OneOmics project, a partnership with Illumina that integrates next-generation proteomics (NGP) and next-generation sequencing (NGS) data in Illumina’s BaseSpace cloud computing environment.  Advaita Bioinformatics, The Institute for Systems Biology (ISB), and researchers at Yale University have each developed applications and libraries for the OneOmics project. Advaita’s iPathwayGuide performs biochemical pathway analysis, gene ontology analysis, miRNA prediction, and drug and disease analyses of SCIEX Proteomics and Illumina RNASeq data; ISB’s SWATHAtlas Ion Library Generator enables simplified access to ISB libraries for use in NGP experiments; and Yale’s RNASeq Translator translates the output from an Illumina RNASeq experiment into a protein database. (For more on the OneOmics project, see “Illumina Opens BaseSpace to Proteomics Data.”) Press release 

Berry Genomics Co. announced that its subsidiary Hangzhou Berry Genomics has received premarket clearance from the Chinese Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) for the NextSeq CN500, a high-throughput sequencing instrument developed with Illumina to meet Chinese clinical needs. Hangzhou Berry Genomics also received premarket clearance for its non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) detection kit for trisomies 13, 18 and 21. The NextSeq CN500 uses Illumina’s sequencing by synthesis technology and was designed for operations in a clinical setting. Press release 

Certara, a biosimulation technology-enabled consultancy, launched version 2.0 of its Cardiac Safety Simulator (CSS), which has become a standalone product for the first time. CSS uses drug-triggered cardiac ion-current disruption data, together with predicted in vivo exposure information, to evaluate the factors influencing potential cardiac risk, and can be used in the early stages of drug development as a screening tool. New features include enhanced QSAR models for predicting drug-triggered IKr, IKs, INa and ICaL current inhibition; predicted population variability and drug-triggered physiology modifications; and assessment of the potential impact of disease and genotypes. Press release 

Linguamatics announced the latest release of natural language processing (NLP)-based text mining and analytics platform I2E. I2E 4.3’s Connected Data Technology uses a federated text mining architecture, allowing information extraction from multiple data sources at once. This Connected Data Technology allows users to run a single query simultaneously over multiple data sources, whether they are located locally, on Linguamatics’ cloud-based I2E OnDemand platform, or on third party servers elsewhere in the cloud. Results are merged together as a single results set that is sorted and clustered for analysis. Press release 

Ancestry, which offers consumers DNA testing for family history, launched a scientific advancement to its DNA Circles product that combines information from existing trees and DNA samples across the Ancestry database to connect people who are likely descendants of a common ancestor. While DNA products currently on the market can only link users to others who have also taken a DNA test, New Ancestor Discoveries and AncestryDNA links users to ancestors and potential relatives who have not taken a DNA test. Press release 

Optibrium, a developer of software for drug discovery, launched version 6.1 of its StarDrop platform to guide researchers in compound design. The latest release introduces the Matsy technology, which searches databases of matched molecular series to identify chemical substitutions that are most likely to improve target activity. Also included is a major upgrade to StarDrop’s P450 metabolism module that facilitates the design of compounds with improved metabolic stability, in addition to enhancements to the platform’s data analysis and management capabilities. Press release 

Cypher Genomics released a software update to automate the interpretation of sequencing data from cancer genomes. With this update, Cypher’s Mantis technology will provide faster insight into how different genetic variants may impact cancer progression and therapeutic effectiveness. The Mantis update will also provide a summary of somatic and germline variants, and resolve difficult to classify variants of unknown significance. The resulting information will also provide pharmacogenetic impact for anti-neoplastic agents. Press release 


Veeva Systems announced Veeva OpenKey, a new approach to customer reference data for the life sciences industry. To eliminate the burden of managing multiple data feeds and duplication of health records across European markets, Veeva OpenKey customer data will be sourced locally and consolidated into a single global reference database. Veeva also announced the Veeva OpenKey Partner Program, which establishes a partner ecosystem designed to make it easy for life sciences companies to access the customer data they purchase without restrictive vendor contracts. Press release