Nanopore News from Oxford Nanopore, University of Missouri, New Genedata Product, More

August 31, 2023

August 31, 2023 | University of Missouri researchers developed an innovative method using nanopores; Oxford Nanopore speeds basecalling for MinKNOW;  Standigm and Nashville Biosciences partner on early drug discovery research, and more. 


Optibrium has announced the acquisition of BioPharmics LLC, expanding its 3D drug design and modelling offering. Bringing decades of experience in computational chemistry and biology, BioPharmics’ CEO, Dr Ajay Jain, and Director of Applied Science, Dr Ann Cleves, join the Optibrium team, respectively focusing on R&D and Application Science in the newly-created BioPharmics Division. The strategic acquisition brings powerful technology for 3D ligand- and structure-based design into Optibrium’s comprehensive StarDrop platform for small molecule design, optimisation and data analysis, complementing its existing range of artificial intelligence, de novo design, and in silico modelling software. The deal follows a long-standing collaboration between the two companies, including partnering on the development of the Surflex eSim3D StarDrop module. Press release.

Illumina announced a partnership with Pillar to make Pillar's suite of oncology assays commercially available globally as part of the Illumina portfolio of oncology products. The agreement will result in an offering of complementary next-generation sequencing solutions that will enhance the efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness of oncology testing through advanced sequencing techniques, improving patient access to personalized cancer treatment options. Pillar's targeted assays help oncologists and researchers identify mutations that drive tumor growth. Press release

Charles River Laboratories International announced a High Quality plasmid manufacturing collaboration with Fondazione Telethon. Through this collaboration, Fondazione Telethon will have access to established manufacturing platforms and multiple Charles River CDMO centers of excellence, leveraging a comprehensive range of services including GMP cell banking and HQ and GMP-grade plasmid DNA manufacturing. Press release

Element Biosciences, Inc. unveiled five new products to better serve customers' low to medium-throughput needs and expand the functionality and versatility of its benchtop sequencer. These products include AVITI LT (Low Throughput): An alternative version of the AVITI System that runs the low and medium throughput sequencing kits; Individually Addressable Lanes to process two libraries per flow cell without additional time, kits, or reagents; Flexible Throughput Kits to enable customers with small sample batches to run cost-effective kits; 2x300 bp Sequencing Kits; and Elembio Cloud, an online platform for managing instruments, monitoring runs, and visualizing run metrics. Press release

Oxford Nanopore has announced the integration of an accelerated basecaller into the device software MinKNOW. These improvements enable the sequencing of approximately 2,500 human genomes a year on a PromethION 24 (at 30x, one genome per flow cell), by freeing up devices for subsequent experiments immediately. The acceleration delivers full genome information, including methylation data, at no additional cost. Press release

Standigm announced that it is collaborating with Nashville Biosciences, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), on early drug discovery research. Under the terms of the agreement, Standigm will use Nashville Bioscience's extensive, de-identified genomic and clinical data to build new, customized AI models for drug discovery. The mission of the collaboration is to accelerate early-stage drug discovery. Press release

University of Missouri researchers developed an innovative method using nanopores to help scientists advance their discoveries in neuroscience and other medical applications. The technique involves aptamers, or single strands of DNA or RNA molecules that selectively bind to a specific target. This allows researchers to know exactly what they are detecting with the nanopores and study how individual molecules are interacting with each other. Press release

Thermo Fisher Scientific announced a new line of TSG Series Refrigerators to ensure the safe storage of critical vaccines and pharmaceuticals for laboratory, pharmacy, and clinical environments. This new TSG series complies with NSF 456 performance standards, an American national standard that helps ensure storage equipment performs as intended to preserve the viability of vaccine doses. Press release

Element Biosciences expanded a commercial partnership with Agilent Technologies to cooperate in selling Element and Agilent products, starting in the United States. This partnership builds on a co-marketing agreement the companies entered last year demonstrating the integration of Element's AVITI System and Agilent's industry leading SureSelect target enrichment panels. It opens greater commercial reach for Element's AVITI System and improved user experience of Agilent's SureSelect portfolio. Agilent and Element will promote, market, and provide training on each other's products. Press release

Celltrion opened a Global R&D Center in South Korea to support breakthrough therapies. The center offers research capabilities and technologies spanning all areas of biopharmaceutics, including the identification of candidate substances for new drugs, stem cell development, and expression through genetic recombination, mass production of biopharmaceutical products, equivalency evaluation for product approval, and research of product characteristics and mechanism. Press release

Genedata announced a new release of Genedata Selector, the collaborative end-to-end solution that provides quality control automation support to companies striving to make safe and efficacious cell and gene therapies more accessible to patients worldwide. Genedata Selector is an enterprise platform that automates the identification and monitoring of critical quality attributes during cell and gene therapy development and manufacturing. Press release

Elsevier released an alpha version of Scopus AI for researcher testing—a next generation tool that combines generative AI with Scopus' trusted content and data to help researchers get deeper insights faster, support collaboration and societal impact of research. Press release

Thermo Fisher Scientific is providing pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical research organizations and QC laboratories in the industrial and food and beverage sectors with a new liquid chromatography (LC) detector for simple routine isocratic analysis. The Thermo Scientific Vanquish Refractive Index Detector enables detection of substances that lack UV chromophores and is powered by proven technology. The Vanquish Refractive Index Detector offers customers a highly integrated solution for a range of routine analytical applications when stacked in a Thermo Scientific Vanquish LC system. Press release

University of California San Diego scientists debuted Greengenes2, a massive reference database that could be used to reconcile years of microbiome studies. The database makes it possible to compare and combine microbiome data derived from either 16S ribosomal RNA gene amplicon (16S) or shotgun metagenomics sequencing techniques. Press release

Editas Medicine and Azzur Cleanrooms on Demand (COD) announced the expansion of their multi-year contract to support the scaling of EDIT-301, Editas Medicine’s experimental cell therapy medicine under investigation for the treatment of severe sickle cell disease and transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia, from approval to commercialization. The expanded agreement includes compliant cleanroom space and labs services at Azzur’s COD site in Devens, Massachusetts. Editas Medicine has utilized Azzur’s services to execute pre-clinical and early-phase clinical manufacturing activities for its cell medicines, including EDIT-301 for the treatment of sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia, since 2020. Press release

Vital Biosciences introduced its revolutionary new product, the VitalOne. The VitalOne intends to make blood diagnostics ubiquitous by bringing more than 50 lab-grade test results that cover 95% of routine lab orders to primary care sites in the form of a simple device the size of a desktop computer. The VitalOne will allow doctors to test, diagnose, and treat patients in the course of a single visit. Patients receive their results within 20 minutes. The VitalOne is in late-stage development and is not yet available for sale. The underlying technology already has been tested and validated against thousands of samples versus gold-standard instruments with Vital’s lab partners. Press release

Fore Genomics is using the DNAnexus platform for its FORESITE 360 test. The purpose-built and scalable DNAnexus platform enables Fore Genomics to meet with current and future security, quality, and compliance requirements as they evolve over time. Press release

BioMap officially launched the “Life Science Leaderboard” – a living resource for industry professionals and researchers to evaluate the performance of life science AI models. BioMap invites professionals and researchers to utilize the Life Science Leaderboard to evaluate life science AI models and to collaborate in accelerating the growth and prosperity of the industry. Press release

SomaLogic Operating Co. formed a partnership with Dante Genomics to offer a comprehensive solution for proteomics testing at scale in Europe. Dante will be the first SomaLogic authorized site in Italy and will run SomaLogic’s technology out of its laboratory in Italy, providing proteomics services for the European market. The partnership will offer one of the first multiomic capabilities to support clinical research discovery, expanding the databases and total addressable market for both companies. Press release