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Signature Genomic Laboratories, Expression Analysis, Illumina, Lumera, Plexera Biosciences, Perlegen Sciences, SC Liver Research Consortium

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Signature Genomic Labs Gets Florida License
 
Signature Genomic Laboratories this week announced that it has received its Florida clinical laboratory license, allowing the company to receive specimens drawn by clinical laboratories in the state.
 
Signature provides microarray-based molecular cytogenetic diagnostics.
 
The license may be renewed biannually. The Spokane, Wash.-based firm also is licensed as an out-of-state clinical lab in Rhode Island and California.
 

 
Expression Analysis to Offer Illumina's Assays for DNA Methylation Studies
 
Expression Analysis this week said that it has started offering DNA methylation profiling services using Illumina’s GoldenGate assays.
 
“This technology will drastically increase the scope and speed of our clients’ methylation research and biomarker discovery studies,” Tom Goralski, senior director of laboratory operations at Durham, NC-based Expression Analysis, said in a statement.
 
Terms of the alliance were not disclosed.
 

 
Lumera Lines up $25M in Equity Financing over Three Years as Plexera Gains ISO Certification
 
Lumera said last week it will have access to as much as $25 million in financing over the next three years through an equity financing agreement with investment bank Kingsbridge Capital Limited.
 
Lumera, which will choose the timing and amount of any of the committed equity financing facility purchases, plans to use the funds to support corporate and research and development activities.
 
The funds will be available to Lumera through tranches under which Kingsbridge will buy Lumera’s common stock at discounts between six percent and 12 percent, depending on the average market price of the stock during an eight-day pricing period.
 
Lumera also issued a warrant to Kingsbridge to buy up to 180,000 shares of common stock at $3.01 per share, which is a 125 percent premium over Lumera’s closing price over the five days before the agreement was signed.
 
Separately, Lumera’s subsidiary Plexera Biosciences said last week it has received the International Organization for Standardization’s Certificate of Registration for operating a quality management system in compliance with ISO’s requirements.
 
The registration certifies that the firm’s policies, practices, and procedures follow best practices in design and manufacture of the company’s products. The company’s Kx Array combines label-free biosensor technology with microarray-based assay formats for analyzing biomolecular interactions.
 

 
Perlegen, SC Liver Research Consortium to Study Genetics Behind HCV Treatment Response
 
Perlegen Sciences, an Affymetrix subsidiary, said last week that it has begun a research collaboration with the SC Liver Research Consortium, a group of physicians and researchers from 50 research sites, with the goal of determining the genetic variations predicting response to hepatitis C treatment.
 
At the moment, the standard of care for hepatitis C involves treatment with interferon alpha and ribavirin, which cures about half of HCV patients. Nevertheless, these treatments are linked to serious side effects such as fatigue, depression, fever, and anemia, which dissuades many HCV patients from undergoing therapy.
 
On the other hand, hepatitis C itself can lead to other serious complications such as liver cirrhosis or scarring and hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer accounting for 80 percent to 90 percent of all liver cancer cases.
 
Perlegen and the SCLRC researchers hope that by being able to more accurately identify patients who will respond well to interferon alpha and ribavirin treatment they will also be persuade these individuals to undergo the treatment, improving their outcomes.
 
“This is an exciting opportunity to combine the expertise of our consortium’s fifty research sites with Perlegen’s skills in genetic analysis,” SCLRC President Paul Pockros said in a statement. “The ability to help predict response to therapy could be a vital tool in our effort to cure hepatitis C in millions of patients infected with this virus.”

The Scan

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.

Effectiveness May Decline, Data From Israel Suggests

The New York Times reports that new Israeli data suggests a decline in Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness against Delta variant infection, though protection against severe disease remains high.

To See Future Risk

Slate looks into the use of polygenic risk scores in embryo screening.

PLOS Papers on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus, Bone Marrow Smear Sequencing, More

In PLOS this week: genomic analysis of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, archived bone marrow sequencing, and more.