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New Product Watch: Apr 13, 2010


Illumina last week launched its VeraCode ADME Core Panel for the study of genetic predispositions for differential drug response and adverse events.

The VeraCode ADME Core Panel includes 184 biomarkers in 34 genes associated with drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion as standardized by the PharmADME Core List. This list, produced by the PharmADME Working Group of industry and academic experts, provides coverage of the most biologically relevant biomarkers spanning complex regions of the genome, Illumina said.

According to the firm, the VeraCode ADME Core Panel assay can be run in eight hours using its digital microbead-based BeadXpress system and VeraScan software, which manages user authentication, logs system activity, and automatically translates genotype data into the star-allele nomenclature used by researchers to analyze pharmacogenetic data.

Additionally, researchers at Vanderbilt University are using the assay to discover variants that reliably predict an adverse effect from a medication in 80,000 DNA samples with matched, de-identified medical records. The study, called the Vanderbilt Electronic Systems for Pharmacogenetic Assessment, aims to make its data available in a public database that will be used to link genotypes to drug response phenotypes extracted from electronic health record data, Illumina said.

Aushon Biosystems this week launched human multiplex biomarker panels for the quantification of seven biomarkers related to drug-induced vascular injury.

The human vascular injury panels have been validated for analysis of serum, plasma, and tissue culture samples. The new multiplex panels include the E-selectin, P-selectin, ICAM-3, thrombomodulin, ICAM-1, VCAM-1, and SAA biomarkers.

The panels were developed using Aushon's SearchLight protein array technology — a multiplex, sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay system based on the chemiluminescent or infrared detection of analytes, the company said.

Researchers can analyze samples using Aushon's CLIA-certified sample testing service or by conducting the analysis themselves by using the firm's biomarker kits and imaging system.

BioServe and Protein Biotechnologies launched jointly this week the SomaPlex reverse-phase protein microarray for profiling protein expression in serum collected from breast cancer patients. The platform was created using serum samples from BioServe's global biorepository with Protein Biotechnologies' custom array expertise, the firms said.

Each SomaPlex microarray contains a serum sample with complete demographic and relevant clinical disease-specific data. The microarray uses an antibody directed against a specific protein target to determine protein expression, though the tool can also be adapted to other protein-specific probes, such as labeled peptides, proteins, nucleic acids, or drugs.

Each serum specimen is spotted in duplicate on the arrays at six different serum concentrations — a configuration that permits most soluble proteins to retain their native, or non-denatured, structure and activity, according to the firms. Different stages of disease progression are represented, and within each stage specimens are included for positive and negative progesterone and estrogen receptors.

Customers can use a range of detection systems for visualization of the resulting antibody binding, including color development, enhanced chemiluminescence, and fluorescence. BioServe and Protein Biotechnologies said they intend to launch more cancer-specific microarrays later this year.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.