Ambry Genetics, PacBio Take on Rare Diseases, Regeneron Makes TOP500 List, More

May 29, 2024

By Bio-IT World Team  

May 29, 2024 | Ambry Genetics and PacBio to support the Pediatric Mendelian Genomics Research Center (MGRC) program to better understand the underlying biology of rare diseases; Recursion’s BioHive-2 was dubbed No. 35 on the latest TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers; the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC) launches its 100th version; more. 

Oxford BioDynamics is collaborating with the King's College London team in the immediate follow up of the APIPPRA trial, the largest RA prevention trial to date. The APIPPRA trial of Abatacept was a multicenter trial in 213 individuals at high risk of rheumatoid arthritis. In the immediate follow-up of the successful trial, The King's College London team has now engaged  OBD's EpiSwitch technology, which has already delivered successful results on prognosis of disease and prediction of response to treatment, to identify which patients are at the highest risk of progressing to RA and are likely to benefit from the therapeutic intervention with Abatacept, in both the short and long term. Press release

The world’s largest and most comprehensive resource for genetic mutations relating to human cancers, COSMIC (Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer), launched its 100th version. COSMIC collates worldwide cancer genomic data to produce a gold-standard, accessible knowledgebase that can be used to explore new potential therapeutic targets and characterize a cancer’s mutational landscape. This latest version, released during COSMIC’s 20th anniversary year, includes novel mutations from 4,482 tumor samples, with a particular focus on the role of BRAF and RAS genes in cancer. Press release

Xcellbio and AmplifyBio have launched a partnership designed to streamline and improve the manufacturing process for engineered T-cell receptor (TCR) therapies targeting solid tumors. Scientists from AmplifyBio will work with the Xcellbio team to develop novel cell therapy manufacturing methods based on Xcellbio’s AVATAR Foundry platform. The efforts will focus on identifying key elements for successful manufacture of TCR therapies, such as product characterization matrix, correlation to metabolic profile, and potency. An IND filing is expected next year to target human papillomavirus-positive (HPV+) tumors using an engineered TCR therapy. Press release

Cytek Biosciences officially announced its Enhanced Small Particle (ESP) Detection Option for its flagship Cytek Aurora and Cytek Northern Lights cell analysis systems. With this optional upgrade, these systems show superior sensitivity and resolution of subcellular materials, including extracellular vesicles (EVs), while maintaining high resolution and high parameter capabilities for cell analysis, making them the preferred choice among researchers and clinicians. With Cytek’s new ESP Detection Option, the rapidly growing areas of research conducted on viruses, small bacteria, EVs, nanoparticles, and other subcellular particles for therapy development and biomedical research are being advanced. EVs can be used in various applications, such as biomarker development, diagnostic tools, and therapeutic development for delivery of drugs. Press release

In a new paper, researchers from clinical stage artificial intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery company Insilico Medicine, in collaboration with NVIDIA, present a new large language model (LLM) transformer for solving biological and chemical tasks called nach0. The multi-domain and multi-task LLM was trained on a diverse set of tasks, natural language understanding, synthetic route prediction, and molecular generation, and works across domains to answer biomedical questions and synthesize new molecules. The findings were published in Chemical Science Journal. Press release. 

Accenture has made a strategic investment, through Accenture Ventures, in Turbine, a predictive simulation company that is building a platform for interpreting human biology. Accenture’s investment will help Turbine further extend its capabilities to global biopharma companies that can benefit from Turbine’s ability to uncover hidden biological insights, with the potential to guide and accelerate key drug development workstreams. Turbine’s core technology, the Simulated Cell platform, intricately models molecular interactions within and around cells, enabling virtual experiments in volumes that are nearly impossible to achieve in the physical world and revealing mechanisms that drive diseases and response to therapies. Press release

Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) and Molecular Health have entered into a global multi-year agreement, starting in the US, to integrate their next generation sequencing (NGS) capabilities. The partnership pairs IDT’s Archer NGS research assay platform with Molecular Health’s variant annotation and reporting software to equip molecular researchers with tertiary analysis for their NGS data, maximizing lab efficiency and streamlining genomics data workflows to accelerate cancer discoveries. The collaboration also extends access to research customers in the genomic profiling space through IDT’s nationwide footprint. Press release

Recursion’s BioHive-2 was dubbed No. 35 on the latest TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers. The advance represents the company’s most recent effort to accelerate drug discovery with NVIDIA technologies. Finding a new drug candidate can take scientists years performing millions of wet-lab experiments. That work is vital; Recursion’s scientists run more than 2 million such experiments a week. But going forward, they’ll use AI models on BioHive-2 to direct their platform to the most promising biology areas to run their experiments. Press release

Twist Bioscience has launched Twist Multiplexed Gene Fragments (MGFs), pools of directly synthesized double-stranded DNA up to 500 base pairs in length with no limit on sequence number to enable high throughput screening applications. Twist MGFs encompass a region large enough to span entire antibody variable domains and UTRs, providing customers with a purpose-built product to meet their needs. The expansive coding region also allows for customer customization and multifaceted design options. The pooled format of the fragments enables large-scale high-throughput screening. Press release

Elsevier announced the launch of SciBite Chat, a new AI-powered tool built atop SciBite’s platform, SciBite Search. SciBite Chat uniquely combines the strength of semantic search for accurate and traceable information retrieval and Large Language Models to interpret natural language questions and generate answers. By combining these powerful technologies, SciBite Chat has the potential to transform the search experience, providing explainable results while understanding and summarizing human language effortlessly. Press release

Scientists at UC San Diego have developed a machine learning algorithm to simulate the time-consuming chemistry involved in the earliest phases of drug discovery, which could significantly streamline the process and open doors for never-before-seen treatments. The new platform, called POLYGON, is unique among artificial intelligence tools for drug discovery in that it can identify molecules with multiple targets, while existing drug discovery protocols currently prioritize single target therapies. Multi-target drugs are of major interest to doctors and scientists because of their potential to deliver the same benefits as combination therapy, in which several different drugs are used together to treat cancer but with fewer side effects. The researchers used the new tool, described in Nature Communications, to synthesize 32 new drug candidates for cancer. Press release

Boehringer Ingelheim is adopting the transformative new functionality of ArisGlobal’s LifeSphere Clarity. LifeSphere Clairty provides access to knowledge graphs, association graphs, medical case clustering, and more advanced capabilities to drive better understanding the “why” of safety-relevant occurrences and more efficient and standardized risk management for patient safety and pharmacovigilance teams. Press release

OGT has launched the RNA-based SureSeq Myeloid Fusion Panel, a novel next-generation sequencing tool for identifying key fusion genes implicated in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Designed in collaboration with myeloid cancer experts, the SureSeq Myeloid Fusion Panel ensures results meet the latest clinical research recommendations by efficiently identifying over 30 key disease-associated fusions in AML—including KMT2A and MECOM fusions—in a single assay. Press release

CuriMeta and NashBio announced a data licensing agreement that will bring together specific multi-modal, multi-omic datasets from both CuriMeta and NashBio, allowing life science researchers to tap into particularly diverse data relative to patient location, age, ancestry, and disease and enable research that would otherwise not be possible. Press release

Revvity announced the launch of the Auto-Pure 2400 liquid handler from Allsheng for use with the T-SPOT.TB test. The Auto-Pure 2400 platform is easy to use and designed to provide efficient workflows in the lab. When the accuracy of the T-SPOT.TB test is combined with the efficiency of the Auto-Pure 2400 system, labs, clinicians, and, ultimately, patients, benefit from the resultant powerful solution. Press release