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In Brief This Week: Bio-Techne, New York Genome Center, Oncimmune, and More

NEW YORK – Bio-Techne said this week that it has formed a joint venture company with Fresenius Kabi and Wilson Wolf to provide dedicated support to researchers and biopharmaceutical companies in the field of cell and gene therapy. The joint venture will focus on providing scalable manufacturing technologies and processes needed to develop and commercialize new cell and gene therapies. Each partner is contributing products and expertise to the new venture. 

The companies have been working independently to develop technology that helps advance the manufacturing efficiency of cell and gene therapies, Bio-Techne said. Wilson Wolf's G-Rex technology has been designed as a scalable platform for generation of personalized cell therapies. Bio-Techne's range of proteins, reagents, media, and gene-editing technologies have been designed to activate, reprogram, and stimulate cell growth. Fresenius Kabi's Lovo cell processing system washes, concentrates, and harvests cells at a scale needed to develop and commercialize cell and gene therapies.

The New York Genome Center said this week that it obtained final approval for an updated version of its clinical constitutional whole-genome sequencing test from the New York State Department of Health on Dec. 30. The NYGC received conditional approval for the test in 2016. 

The test has been validated using DNA from saliva, whole blood, and dried blood spots. The updated version performs sequencing on Illumina's NovaSeq and maps reads to the GRCh38/hg38 human genome assembly. In addition, the analysis workflow now includes repeat expansions in select genes, as well as copy number analysis in SMN genes to identify SMA disease or carrier status.

Oncimmune said this week that it has been included in a consortium of industry leaders established by the Oxford Centre for Early Cancer Detection, to aid in the research of earlier detection of hepatocellular carcinoma. The program aims to understand more about changes in the liver as hepatocellular carcinoma develops in order to inform new and more sensitive diagnostic tests that could detect liver cancer earlier. The program’s chief investigator, Professor Ellie Barnes, has been awarded a Cancer Research UK Early Detection Program Award that provides funding of £2.5 million over the next five years. Alongside a multidisciplinary team involving multiple Oxford researchers, the consortium also includes researchers from Nottingham University, Newcastle University, Glasgow Caledonian University, the University of Bristol, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Aarhus University (Denmark), and industry partners including Oncimmune, Roche Diagnostics, Perspectum Diagnostics, and IPDx, and charity partners the British Liver Trust and the Hepatitis C Trust.

Horizon Discovery announced this week that it will license its gene-edited glutamine synthetase (GS) knockout Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) K1 cell line to NGM Biopharmaceuticals, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel therapeutics for cardio-metabolic, liver, oncologic, and ophthalmic diseases. Horizon said its proprietary GS knockout CHO K1 cell line and protocols facilitate the development of stable cell lines for the expression of antibodies and other recombinant proteins.

Sectra said this week that it has signed a seven-year contract with Dutch hospital Zuyderland Medical Center for Sectra’s digital pathology solution. The solution will be integrated with Zuyderland’s lab information system, providing pathologists with a complete overview of patients’ histories. The solution is vendor-neutral and will handle about 35,000 examinations each year, Sectra said.

LCM Genect recently announced a distribution deal covering Exosomics’ SelectEV-DNA and SortEV-RNA kits in Italy. The SelectEV-DNA kit is used for extracting DNA and leverages peptide-based technologies, while the SortEV-RNA kit is used for extracting RNA and leverages antibody-based technologies. The kits are designed to aid the selective isolation of tumor-derived nucleic acids from complex biofluids such as plasma or serum. Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PerkinElmer said this week that its board of directors has declared a regular quarterly dividend of $.07 per share of common stock, payable on May 8 to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 17.

4basebio announced this week that it has completed its name change from its previous name, Expedeon. The company's shares will continue to be listed on the regulated market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange's prime standard but will change ticker symbol to 4BSB. The new name 4basebio reflects the new strategic focus of the company on the manufacturing of DNA products, and was part of the 120 million deal with Abcam for the sale of Expedeon’s proteomic and immunology business.

PathoQuest said this week that it has received GLP certificate of conformity following a successful inspection by the French National Agency for Medicine and Health Products Safety (ANSM)The company said that it is the first firm in France to have a facility receive such a GLP certificate from the ANSM for advanced, next-generation sequencing viral safety testing.

In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared on GenomeWeb.