Chan Zuckerberg Life Sciences Computing System, Microsoft and Paige AI Partnership, Rehm Takes Chair of GA4GH

September 28, 2023

September 28, 2023 | Paige and Microsoft aim to build the world’s largest image-based AI models for digital pathology and oncology; Flatiron Health and FDA partner; HHS extends partnership with Regeneron; the GA4GH Board of Directors has elected Heidi Rehm to succeed Ewan Birney; and more. 


Paige has joined forces with Microsoft in the fight against cancer, making headway in their collaboration to transform cancer diagnosis and patient care by building the world’s largest image-based artificial intelligence (AI) models for digital pathology and oncology. Paige is developing with Microsoft a new AI model that is orders-of-magnitude larger than any other image-based AI model existing today, configured with billions of parameters. This model assists in capturing the subtle complexities of cancer and serves as the cornerstone for the next generation of clinical applications and computational biomarkers that push the boundaries of oncology and pathology. Press release

Flatiron Health announced its renewed collaboration with the Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE) of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to jointly develop and implement specific research projects to advance the use of real-world data (RWD) and explore the potential strengths and limitations of using real-world evidence (RWE) for regulatory purposes. The partnership will specifically evaluate RWD study designs and analytic methods through the collaborative development of priority, clinically meaningful research questions regarding care, treatment, and outcomes of patients with cancer. Press release

The GA4GH Board of Directors has elected Heidi Rehm to succeed Ewan Birney, who will complete his term as Chair of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) at the end of 2023. Rehm has served as a GA4GH Vice-Chair since 2018. She is also Chief Genomics Officer at Massachusetts General Hospital and Co-Director of the Program in Medical and Population Genetics at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Rehm has plans to expand support for GA4GH product implementation and strengthen collaboration with clinical communities to ensure GA4GH work benefits the interface of research and clinical care. Press release

Researchers at The University of Queensland are using Oxford Nanopore Technologies instruments to analyze mRNA vaccines and therapies. This approach promises to simplify and better ensure the quality of manufactured mRNA-based vaccines and therapeutics worldwide. Under the new research partnership, the BASE team at UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology will use the latest and improved nanopore-based sequencing technology to optimize performance and reduce the time needed to measure mRNA vaccine quality attributes. Press release

JURA Bio and Syena, a subsidiary of Replay, are working to develop T cell receptor (TCR) based therapies. The partnership aims to use synthesized T cell repertoires to generate safe and effective libraries to discover antigen specific TCRs at scale. In addition to the partnership with Replay and Syena, JURA Bio also announced a $16.1M financing led by Michael Chambers, John Ballantyne, Fontus Capital, and Josh Elkington. The funding will accelerate the mapping of the adaptive immune system. The funding will be used to accelerate the mapping of the adaptive immune system. Press release

Ganymede Bio and Kytopen have partnered to bring the power of cloud native, structured data to Kytopen's Flowfect platforms. The partnership with Ganymede incorporates tools to streamline Flowfect data with pre- and post-delivery analysis. In the near future, Kytopen customers will be able to seamlessly integrate data from their Flowfect instruments with any application and existing data infrastructure via Ganymede's platform. Press release

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announced the funding and building of one of the largest computing systems dedicated to nonprofit life science research in the world. This new effort will provide the scientific community with access to predictive models of healthy and diseased cells, which will lead to groundbreaking new discoveries that could help cure, prevent, or manage all diseases by the end of this century. The high-performance computing cluster, which is planned to comprise 1,000+ GPUs, will enable AI and large language models for biomedicine at scale. Press release

Primrose Bio has been established as a result of the combination between Primordial Genetics and Pelican Technology Holdings. As part of the transaction, Ligand Pharmaceuticals has contributed $15 million in funding. Primrose Bio will focus on collaborating with the biopharma industry to optimize production hosts, enzymes and proteins using our technologies as well as support partners' process design and scale up needs, develop transformational manufacturing methodologies, expand our technology beyond human health into sustainable food, energy, industrial and consumer goods, and commercialize their technologies to enable mRNA medicines and conjugate vaccines. Press release

ACD/Labs announced a collaboration with MilliporeSigma, the U.S. and Canada Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. The collaboration represents MilliporeSigma’s joint steps toward breakthrough innovation to make research and quality control in the lab more efficient and sustainable. The new ChemisTwin platform combines ACD/Labs’ industry-leading NMR predictors with Millipore Sigma’s digital reference materials (dRMs). Press release

The Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine (AIRM) has licensed Genedata Selector to help confirm the biosafety of cell therapies using NGS-based assays within a validated environment. AIRM aims to shorten the time it takes to reach first-in-human studies and deliver safe and effective cell therapies to the market. AIRM plans to leverage the Genedata Selector to help automate workflows, reduce bottlenecks, and speed up progress toward cell therapies. Press release

908 Devices has launched MAVERICK, an optical in-line analyzer that provides real-time monitoring and control of glucose, lactate, and total biomass in mammalian cell cultures, in addition to rich process fingerprint data to support large-scale efforts in predictive bioprocess modeling. MAVERICK is the first turn-key device to utilize Raman spectroscopy for bioprocess control, with no modeling and development required. With its in-line optical sampling probe, biopharmaceutical scientists and engineers can quickly develop their cell culture media and design feeding and control strategies. Press release

10x Genomics announced the commercial availability of a new kit, Feature Barcode Multiplexing, to expand the capabilities of its Chromium Single Cell Gene Expression Flex assay to include high-throughput multiomic cellular profiling. The new kit enables streamlined, multiomic characterization of cell populations so that researchers can expand their options at a larger scale and detect simultaneous gene and protein expression. It will enable researchers to fix and store samples without losing data quality, detect proteins at single cell resolution with workflows that enable small- to large-scale studies, batch and scale to profile up to one million cells in a single run and save up to 75% on per-sample costs, and bring scRNA-seq with industry-leading sensitivity to fresh, frozen or fixed tissue—even FFPE. Press release

Deciphex and Xybion are partnering to enhance the pathology reporting processes and optimize workflow efficiency for pathologists working in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. The collaboration between Deciphex and Xybion introduces a groundbreaking integration that offers a seamless synergy between their platforms. This integration provides real-time digital slide availability during pathology data entry. In addition, for Pathology Peer Review, embedded finding searching, filtering and viewing results in accelerated and higher quality processes. By combining Patholytix's scalable digital pathology management solution with Xybion's unified cloud software ecosystem, professionals in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries can streamline their operations and focus on delivering improved regulatory submissions. Press release

The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine is offering a fully validated, clinical whole genome sequencing test. The APML is CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited and the JAX Genome test is the only clinical whole genome sequencing test currently offered in Connecticut. It will enable area clinicians to reveal the genetic contributions to their patients’ undiagnosed conditions. Press release

Dotmatics announced the availability of the latest version of its Biology Solution, an end-to-end biologics data management and analysis tool designed to help R&D leaders get more insight from their data, faster. The Biology Solution offers common workflows for scientists who work in biopharma, industrial biotech, and AgTech to accelerate new product development, simplify project management, and reduce the complexities of research IT infrastructure. The new version includes expanded functionality for molecular cloning and vector design, protein production, new biologics registration, and more. Press release

Baylor Genetics announced the availability of a new Neurodevelopmental Disorders Panel for children and other patients affected by a suspected or clinically diagnosed autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, and/or developmental delay. The panel analyzes a clinically curated and targeted set of 236 genes to help healthcare providers and patients achieve a prompt, accurate genetic diagnosis and a better understanding of prognosis and anticipated disease progression. Press release

Thermo Scientific has released a new Hydra Bio Plasma-Focused Ion Beam (Plasma-FIB) is designed for cell biologists seeking simplified workflows while undertaking volume electron microscopy for cryo or resin-embedded samples. Building on the cross-industry standard Thermo Scientific Helios Hydra DualBeam platform, the Hydra Bio Plasma-FIB is a versatile, multi-application instrument that supports volume electron microscopy and sample preparation for the cryo-electron tomography workflow. From tissues to proteins, this instrument is designed to be a bridge from cryo-EM to room temperature analysis or vice versa, and to help cell biologists spend more time focused on advancing their complex research projects. Blog

Torx Software Limited and CDD Vault are collaborating to facilitate the seamless synthesis and registration of new compounds during the small-molecule drug discovery process. Torx is a cloud-based platform developed by Cresset and Elixir Software, which enables chemistry teams to collaborate, design molecules, and track compound synthesis across the design-make-test-analyze (DMTA) cycle. CDD Vault is a hosted data management system for chemical registration and secure storage of scientific data. The optional integration of Torx and CDD Vault creates an automated, shared digital ecosystem. This enables the rapid transfer of data between platforms and allows users to access the information they need without switching contexts. Press release

Dewpoint Therapeutics and Chemify partnered up to develop a suite of digitally discovered and automatically synthesized novel molecules on Chemify's programmable chemistry platform against condensate targets of interest in Dewpoint's oncology and neurodegeneration pipeline. Under the partnership, Chemify will design and deliver novel compounds to augment Dewpoint's advanced oncology and neurodegeneration pipeline. Dewpoint may choose to exercise an option to acquire the compounds designed by Chemify. In exchange, Chemify will receive pre-negotiated, success-driven clinical and regulatory milestones and tiered royalties. Press release

Metabolon launched its new Biological Stress Discovery Panel. The Biological Stress Discovery Panel incorporates new visualization tools and allows researchers to compare results across different data sets to identify statistically significant changes in metabolite abundance. Researchers also have access to detailed associations between metabolites and biological pathways that can help uncover biological significance. Press release

Mission Bio has launched the Tapestri Genome Editing Solution. Designed to meet the pressing need for high-resolution analysis of genome editing, this first-of-its-kind solution addresses a long-standing gap in advanced therapy development, disease modeling, and functional genomics. Already drawing substantial interest from key opinion leaders in pharmaceuticals, academia, and government labs, this much-anticipated solution was initially previewed at The American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy annual conference. Press release

MLCommons announced new results from two MLPerf benchmark suites: MLPerf Inference v3.1, which delivers industry standard Machine Learning (ML) system performance benchmarking in an architecture-neutral, representative, and reproducible manner, and MLPerf Storage v0.5 The MLCommons MLPerf Inference benchmark suite measures how fast systems can run models in a variety of deployment scenarios. It is behind everything from the latest generative AI chatbots to safety features in vehicles, such as automatic lane-keeping and speech-to-text interfaces. The MLPerf Storage Benchmark Suite is the first open-source AI/ML benchmark suite that measures the performance of storage for ML training workloads. The benchmark was created through a collaboration spanning more than a dozen leading industry and academic organizations and includes a variety of storage setups including parallel file systems, local storage, and software defined storage. The MLPerf Storage Benchmark will be an effective tool for purchasing, configuring, and optimizing storage for machine learning applications, as well as for designing next-generation systems and technologies. Press release.   

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced new details of its agreement with Regeneron to extend its public-private partnership to develop life-saving monoclonal antibodies as part of Project NextGen enhancing our preparedness for COVID-19 strains and variants. This agreement included a clause where Regeneron committed that if a new product is commercialized, its list price in the United States will be equal to or less than its retail price in comparable markets globally. Inclusion of this clause is the result of HHS’s and Regeneron’s shared interest in ensuring enduring and equitable access to therapeutics developed under public-private partnerships for all Americans. Press release

Yourgene Health launched the Yourgene MagBench Automated DNA Extraction Instrument and Kit. MagBench solution is available to Sage customers across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. MagBench offers a simple, fast, and cost-efficient, bench-top robotic cell-free DNA (cfDNA) extraction workstation optimized for Yourgene’s Sage 32 NIPT Workflow. This provides clinical laboratories with a streamlined end-to-end solution, from sample to report, enabling them to provide a more accurate and competitive non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) service. Press release.  

CN Bio and LifeNet Health LifeSciences (“LifeNet Health”) announced a strategic partnership to supply validated primary human cells for use with CN Bio’s PhysioMimix OOC range of MPS. Under the agreement, LifeNet Health’s high-quality, MPS validated, hepatic cells will be available within CN Bio’s Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) ‘in-a-box’ kit, or direct from LifeNet Health, providing a streamlined solution for customers to recreate the Company’s advanced in vitro liver models and maximize assay success. Press release

Revvity debuted its enhanced imaging portfolio designed to drive innovation across diverse applications in preclinical research with the launch of three systems. These new innovations include the next-generation IVIS Spectrum 2 and the IVIS SpectrumCT 2 imaging systems, further elevating versatility and sensitivity standards in in vivo optical imaging. Also launching is the QuantumTM GX3 microCT structural imaging solution with increased resolution and speed for both in vivo and ex vivo imaging, designed to facilitate researchers studying disease biology or evaluating and fast-tracking therapeutic candidates. And making its global debut is the Vega ultrasound system, originally launched in North America in 2022. Press release

BioSkryb Genomics announced a partnership with Research Instruments Pte Ltd, a premier distributor for genomic and life science research products in Southeast Asia, to distribute BioSkryb’s ResolveDNA and ResolveOME single cell amplification tools throughout Singapore and Southeast Asia. Research Instruments (“Everlife-RI") is part of Everlife Asia, a leading Asia-focused market access and distribution group with strong capabilities in life sciences, clinical diagnostics, and analytical instrumentation operating in seven countries across Asia. Press release