Ginkgo Bioworks, Novo Nordisk Partnership, Mission Bio Updates Platform, PathAI, Google Cloud Team Up, More

April 25, 2024

By Bio-IT World Team  

April 25, 2024 | Ginkgo Bioworks has expanded its strategic partnership with Novo Nordisk; Mission Bio introduced sample multiplexing features for the company’s Tapestri Platform; PathAI announced a strategic partnership with Google Cloud at Bio-IT World Conference & Expo to help biopharma companies and anatomic pathology labs accelerate the adoption of AI and digital pathology; more. 

Ginkgo Bioworks has expanded its strategic partnership with Novo Nordisk under a framework agreement that initially is contemplated to run over five years. Together, the partners aim to improve the manufacturing of Novo Nordisk's medicines for serious chronic diseases, including diabetes and obesity medications. The companies also plan to collaborate on several early pipeline projects, further technology exploration, and engineering scalable manufacturing solutions across Novo Nordisk's portfolio. Press release

PathAI announced a strategic partnership with Google Cloud at Bio-IT World Conference & Expo to help biopharma companies and anatomic pathology (AP) labs accelerate the adoption of AI and digital pathology. The partnership will involve the integration of PathAI’s AISight solution with Google Cloud's infrastructure and AI capabilities, providing accelerated adoption of precision medicine solutions and customized solutions and tailored AI models. Press release

PacBio announced that the University of Tartu, host of Estonia’s National Biobank, has chosen the Revio HiFi sequencing system to sequence 10,000 whole human genomes and unlock new insights from its populational health data. The announcement follows funding from the European Commission and the Estonian government to help Estonia adopt personalized medicine at scale and adapt public health systems to the biology of its population. The University will also support the European Union’s 1+ Million Genomes initiative, which seeks to boost innovation in healthcare across Europe. Press release

Mission Bio introduced sample multiplexing features for the company’s Tapestri Platform. These features enable the combination of several samples into a single run, reducing the per-sample costs for single-cell DNA and protein multiomic analysis by up to 60% to provide increased access. By allowing researchers to simultaneously process multiple samples, the new capabilities are designed to offer biopharma companies opportunities for optimizing product characterization and drug development and provide academic researchers the ability to scale critical single-cell insights, particularly in oncology and genome editing fields, for transformative advancements in health and disease management. Press release

Battery Ventures has acquired Labguru (BioData). Labguru will join Battery’s Titian Software to create a global organization that offers an end-to-end solution across life sciences and laboratory applications from research to production, spanning the entire workflow from ELN to inventory and sample management, research, testing, and QC workflows. Terms were not disclosed. Press release

Charles River Laboratories International has launched its Alternative Methods Advancement Project (AMAP), an initiative dedicated to developing alternatives to reduce animal testing. The initiative aims to drive the new standard for drug discovery and development and encapsulates the company’s initial $200 million investment over the past four years and its five-year goal of investing an additional $300 million. This investment spans a portfolio of technology innovations, partnerships, and advocacy efforts to reduce the use of animal testing. Press release

Recursion announced Najat Khan, PhD, will be its Chief R&D Officer and Chief Commercial Officer. Dr. Khan will lead Recursion’s research and development and build its emerging commercial capabilities. She has also been appointed to Recursion’s Board of Directors. Dr. Khan has deep expertise in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, spanning biological, chemical, and medical science, computational and data science, and general business leadership, with a focus on driving substantial patient and business value. As the Chief Data Science Officer and Global Head of Strategy and Portfolio Organization, for Innovative Medicine R&D at Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Khan played an integral role with the senior leadership team in building an industry-leading pipeline that delivered multiple transformational medicines. Press release

CureVac and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center announced a co-development and licensing agreement to develop novel mRNA-based cancer vaccines. The collaboration creates strong synergies between CureVac’s unique end-to-end capabilities for cancer antigen discovery, mRNA design, and manufacturing and MD Anderson’s expertise in cancer antigen discovery and validation, translational drug development, and clinical research. The collaboration will focus on the development of differentiated cancer vaccine candidates in selected hematological and solid tumor indications with high unmet medical need. Press release

Chimeron Bio has received a 2024 National Institutes of Health's Small Business Innovation Research Innovative Concept Award through the National Cancer Institute. The funding will support Chimeron Bio's program developing a cancer vaccine against an inherited form of colorectal cancer. The vaccine will utilize the company's self-amplifying mRNA platform to train the immune system to target mutated, cancer-associated proteins in colorectal cancer cells. Press release

Nucleai announced a strategic collaboration with GoPath Diagnostics. This collaboration aims to offer AI-powered digital pathology solutions for clinical trials and diagnostics and foster innovative research by combining Nucleai’s expertise in spatial biology and AI with GoPath’s access to multi-modal real-world data, world-class lab services, and cutting-edge molecular capabilities. The integrated solutions will be deployed within a centralized environment that meets the standards of the College of American Pathologists, Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, Clinical Laboratory Evaluation Program, Good Clinical Practice, and Good Clinical Laboratory Practice. This will support clinicians and biopharma partners throughout all stages of oncology and immunology drug development. Press release

Qlucore launched the Qlucore Omics Explorer Cloud version. This new version enables users to run and quickly share data analysis from internet-connected computers, tablets, and phones, regardless of location. The powerful and flexible visualization-based data analysis tool, with inbuilt statistics, delivers immediate results and provides instant exploration and visualization of big data. Press release

Hartwig Medical Foundation and Ultima Genomics announced the deployment of Ultima’s UG 100 sequencing system and its proprietary ppmSeq technology for improving precision oncology testing and research. This collaboration aims to reduce test costs and make complete genome-based cancer diagnostics accessible for more patients to have better informed cancer treatment. In parallel, platform strengths will be explored for minimal residual disease detection in blood of cancer patients with a one-size-fits-all solution that builds on pre-existing complete tumor profile information. Press release

Vizgen unveiled the MERSCOPE Ultra Platform and MERFISH 2.0 chemistry. These tools are uniquely suited to supporting basic and translational research and will be commercially available in the second half of the year. The MERSCOPE Ultra is capable of processing 3 cm2 of tissue on a single slide and acquires images at more than double the speed of the MERSCOPE Platform. MERSCOPE Ultra provides researchers with an industry-leading combination of imageable area, speed, and data quality to accelerate discovery and maximize the biology measured from every sample. Further, the system is the only spatial platform to offer two different size flow cells enabling users to adjust reagent consumption based on area imaged. Press release

Genialis has entered new data partnerships with Sidra Medicine and Sapien Biosciences, expanding Genialis patient datasets to represent subpopulations of cancer patients from around the world. The new, real-world datasets—representing patients from Qatar, India, and more broadly Asia, respectively—will support validating Genialis-developed biomarkers on diverse patient populations to better predict responses to KRAS inhibitors, immunotherapies, and other emerging classes of therapeutics. Press release

PreciseDx announced a sponsored research collaboration with UCLA's Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in Los Angeles to evaluate PreciseBreast's ability to accurately assess risk of recurrence for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). TNBC constitutes only 10-20% of all breast cancer cases yet continues to demand significant clinical interest due to its limited response to conventional treatments, the association with younger women, BRCA1/2 mutations, ethnic/racial disparities, and its highly aggressive characteristics. The current study will expand on the previous subgroup analysis of TNBC patients from the PreciseBreast-Mount Sinai Hospital, NY, validation study with a large, well-annotated outcome-based TNBC cohort from the UCLA Health System. Press release

Bio-Rad Laboratories announced the launch of its first ultrasensitive multiplexed digital PCR assay, the ddPLEX ESR1 Mutation Detection Kit. The assay expands the company’s Droplet Digital PCR offering for the oncology market, where highly sensitive and multiplexed mutation detection assays aid translational research, therapy selection, and disease monitoring. The ddPLEX ESR1 Mutation Detection Kit enables simultaneous detection, discrimination, and absolute quantification of seven known relevant ESR1 mutations, in a single well, with an analytical sensitivity down to 0.01% variant allele fraction. The kit includes controls and enables same-day results from either circulating tumor DNA from plasma or DNA from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue samples. Press release

Twist Bioscience has launched a new Human Pangenome Spike-in for the Twist Exome 2.0 panel developed to enable researchers to detect a more complete view of genetic variation during whole exome sequencing. The Human Pangenome Reference Consortium (HPRC) is a project funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute that has the objective to sequence and assemble complete telomere-to-telomere genomes from individuals from diverse populations into a new type of reference in order to better represent the genomic landscape of diverse human populations. The updated HPRC reference standard includes samples from 24% African ancestry, 30% Americas, 18% East Asia, and 28% South Asia. Press release

Leica Microsystems has launched UC Enuity, the next generation ultramicrotome for electron microscopy sample preparation. Building upon the EM UC7 and 70 years of ultramicrotomy history, UC Enuity introduces a significant advancement to the field. With an emphasis on automation, UC Enuity lowers the barrier to entry for researchers and technicians, enabling users of all skill levels to achieve precise and reproducible results with minimal training. Moreover, its modular design not only enhances the user experience but also ensures the ultramicrotome is future-proof, offering the flexibility to upgrade and integrate new features as technology evolves. Press release