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In Brief This Week: Calibre Scientific, Deep Genomics, Kiyatec, and More

NEW YORK – Calibre Scientific said this week that it has completed the acquisition of the NeXtal Biotechnologies line of structural biology products from Qiagen. NeXtal specializes in the production of unique screens and plates for protein crystallization, an important step in structural biology studies and structure-based drug design. NeXtal's products include a comprehensive suite of crystallization screens and proprietary EasyXtal crystallization plates that are currently sold in academic, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical markets. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.


Artificial intelligence therapeutics company Deep Genomics said this week that it has closed a Series B financing round with $40 million in new investment. The proceeds from the financing will be used to develop new treatments for rare genetic diseases, and to expand the company's AI discovery platform to support the discovery and development of novel therapies for common disorders.


Kiyatec said this week that life sciences venture investment firm Esperante has made an investment in the company. Through a spokesperson, Kiyatec declined to disclose the amount of the investment but said it is part of a Series B2 financing round and incremental to the $3 million the company raised in May. The new investment will go toward Kyatec's pivotal 3D-Predict study to validate clinical assays that may predict pretreatment respond to cancer drug treatments for ovarian cancer and glioblastoma.


Research models development company GenOway announced this week that it is extending a licensing deal it signed with Merck in December 2018 for exclusive worldwide rights on its foundational CRISPR-Cas9 portfolio for all applications involving rodent cells or animals. The additional license provides GenOway with non-exclusive rights to commercialize the development and use of all other animal cell models for its customers' internal research uses as well as commercial exploitation, the company said.


OncoCell said this week that it has changed its name to Immunis.AI in order to better reflect the firm's Intelligentia platform, which examines and stratifies the risk of disease on an individual basis at the cellular level. According to the firm, Intelligentia integrates RNA-Seq technology, the patient's immune system, and machine learning to develop disease-specific algorithms to detect and grade disease through a simple blood test.


Cancer diagnostics company KDx Diagnostics said this week that it has received breakthrough device designation from the US Food and Drug Administration for its URO17 Bladder Cancer Recurrence Test, which leverages a novel cancer biomarker that may improve the accuracy and sensitivity of noninvasive bladder cancer testing. In initial data published in 2018, the test demonstrated 100 percent sensitivity and 96 percent specificity in detecting recurrent bladder cancer in urine samples, the firm said.


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.

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The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.