PacBio’s Repeat Expansion Panel, Owkin-Sanofi AI Take on Immunology, More

March 27, 2024

By Bio-IT World Team  

March 27, 2024 | PacBio announced the PureTarget repeat expansion panel, a new solution designed to enable the comprehensive analysis of 20 genes associated with serious neurological disorders; Owkin and Sanofi take on immunology; new products from Beckman Coulter, Arrayjet, and PatientSight; and more. 

PacBio announces the PureTarget repeat expansion panel, a new solution designed to enable the comprehensive analysis of 20 genes associated with serious neurological disorders, including challenging-to-sequence genes with tandem repeat expansions. The new long-read workflow can minimize iterative analysis using legacy technology, and reduce the time needed to identify disease-causing variants and associated methylation signatures. Press release

Owkin has expanded their collaboration with Sanofi to include immunology. In their work with Sanofi on target identification, the team at Owkin used their AI drug target discovery engine to identify the best candidate gene targets with their associated subpopulations of interest. This enables their partners to understand an individual’s unique biology and design tailored treatments. The next phase of the collaboration will be focused on drug positioning within Sanofi’s immunology therapeutic pipeline. Press release

Beckman Coulter Life Sciences, a subsidiary of Danaher Corporation, has launched the CytoFLEX nano Flow Cytometer—the first purpose-built nanoscale flow cytometer for research use only that enables detection to at least 40 nm, enabling 30-50% more data creation compared to current marketplace offerings. It provides global laboratories with a first-of-its kind solution that lowers the limit of detection and increases resolution to characterize lower abundance targets in heterogeneous extracellular vesicle populations between 1 μm and 40 nm (polystyrene when triggering on violet side scatter). Press release

Komodo Health unveiled a new self-service solution for rapid patient cohort analysis and insight generation. MapView is the industry’s first and most sophisticated analytics application that allows users without data science expertise to easily extract insights from Komodo’s Healthcare Map. MapView is designed to accelerate decision-making across the Life Sciences enterprise by generating powerful, automated business intelligence for every team and at every stage of the Life Sciences product life cycle, from clinical development and medical strategy to commercialization. Press release

Cure Mito Foundation and Hope for PDCD Foundation, both patient-led foundations focused on advancing research and supporting families affected by Leigh syndrome and Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex Deficiency (PDCD), respectively, are excited to announce a launch of a PDCD patient registry. This innovative registry will be led by the Hope for PDCD foundation and hosted on the same registry platform as the well-established Leigh Syndrome patient registry, developed by the Cure Mito Foundation. This strategic move is aimed at enhancing patient convenience and improving data alignment and research effectiveness. Press release

Arrayjet announced that its ArrayPlex discovery platform has been selected by Immunome to expand its in-house high-throughput screening tools. The proprietary multi-layer microarray platform is also available to Arrayjet’s screening customers through its CRO/CMO services or by the customer purchasing an instrument and performing screening in-house. During Arrayjet’s successful seven-year partnership with Immunome, Arrayjet performed screening services using the ArrayPlex platform, and the platform underwent further optimization, most recently to integrate internal assay controls and enhanced data normalization. Press release

Tulane University researchers have developed a CRISPR-based platform for diagnosing Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) infections where blood testing can yield results in as little as two hours. The preliminary findings, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, showed that the blood test was able to accurately identify more than 93% of patients with an NTM infection. The blood test is specifically designed to detect mycobacteria avium complex (MAC), one of the most common types of NTM and the most common cause of NTM-induced pulmonary disease. Press release

Metabolon is partnering with Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neuroscience (DPMCN) at Cardiff University to discover new biomarkers for multiple sclerosis (MS). This collaboration will focus on profiling plasma and cerebrospinal fluid samples collected from patients with MS. The longitudinal aspect of this study enables the profiling of repeated samples from the same patient, facilitating the ability to define the temporal evolution of pathologies at the individual level, a critical aspect given the inherent heterogeneity of MS. Press release

Ambry Genetics and Tempus have entered a strategic collaboration to offer best-in-class, comprehensive, germline, and somatic testing services. As part of the agreement, Ambry is performing germline sequencing assays for Tempus, powered by Ambry’s CancerNext and CancerNext-Expanded assays. Utilizing next-generation sequencing, the assays identify genetic variants associated with hereditary cancer syndromes and inherited risk of cancer and leverages Ambry’s 25-year history of variant interpretation expertise. Press release

Recursion is opening a new office in London’s King’s Cross neighborhood. Set to formally open in June 2024, the site will provide Recursion and Valence Labs, the company’s artificial intelligence research engine, access to world-class talent across Europe’s rapidly growing TechBio sector and embed Recursion in a thriving innovation ecosystem of leading technology and life science companies. Press release

Seattle Children's Research Institute and Genezen have unveiled a strategic manufacturing partnership for Seattle Children's Research Institute's X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) program. This collaborative effort is focused on leveraging Genezen's viral vector process development and cGMP manufacturing expertise to advance Seattle Children's XLA gene therapy program. XLA is a rare primary immunodeficiency condition characterized by abnormally low levels of immunoglobulins, also referred to as antibodies. No cure presently exists for XLA. The primary objective of XLA gene therapy is to genetically modify stem cells from the bone marrow to permit the generation of new B cells and antibody-producing B cells to restore antibody production and bolster the immune system. Press release

NovAliX announced its long-term strategic partnership with the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Multidisciplinary Sciences in Göttingen. Through this collaboration, NovAliX and the MPI aim to make the vital process of translating scientific research and academic insights into real therapies more efficient. This partnership will enable crucial early-stage collaboration, fusing the potential of the MPI experts’ groundbreaking discoveries and NovAliX’s award-winning scientists, and streamlining the integration of academic insights into drug development. Press release

The Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative (DAC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Institute of Global Health and Human Ecology (I-GHHE) at The American University in Cairo (AUC) and UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology to focus on developing scalable approaches for early detection and risk reduction in Alzheimer's disease (AD), emphasizing diagnostic biomarker identification, capacity building in neurodegeneration, and genomic risk definition. The collaboration aims to combat AD's impact on the aging population, particularly in Egypt and the surrounding region, by advancing detection, monitoring, prevention, and treatment. It leverages I-GHHE's expertise in neuroscience research alongside UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology's cutting-edge capabilities in addressing neurological disorders. Press release

PatientSight announced a new service that provides a continuous connection between rare disease patients and life science organizations. PatientSight is a subscription-based platform where survey findings are collected, analyzed, and displayed as easily digestible dashboards. The patient journey is organized by disease, treatment, and brand experience. The surveys are recurring throughout the year, enabling life science organizations to examine key insights and trends within a population. PatientSight is also partnered with Rare Patient Voice, a leading recruitment firm connecting patients and family caregivers with opportunities to take part in all types of research studies. Press release

SPT Labtech and RevoluGen announced the successful automation of RevoluGen’s Fire Monkey High Molecular Weight (HMW) DNA extraction chemistry in a bead-based format using SPT Labtech’s firefly automated liquid handling platform. The automated protocol enables the processing of up to 96 samples in parallel to prepare HMW DNA suitable for library preparation for long-read sequencing in under two hours. The results from this collaboration, which was established in 2023, represent a meaningful advance in sample preparation efficiency for long-read DNA sequencing and eliminates the need for highly repetitive, manual pipetting. Press release

Optibrium announced the launch of Semeta, a metabolism prediction platform tailored specifically for drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics scientists. Fundamental to improving a drug’s chance of clinical success, Semeta allows the accurate prediction of Phase I and II metabolic routes, sites, products, and liabilities in early drug discovery, with superior precision to comparable software. Press release