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In Brief This Week: Christiana Care Health System, Mobidiag, Cofactor Genomics, and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Familial Cancer Risk Assessment Program at Christiana Care Health System's Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute said this week it has received a $150,000 grant from the Association of Community Cancer Centers to expand genetic counseling and testing for women diagnosed with three subtypes of breast cancer. The grant was given in partnership with Pfizer Global Medical Grants, and seeks to address obstacles to counseling and BRCA testing for women, and to extend best practices to a larger population, such as underserved minorities. Counseling and testing services will be directed at women diagnosed with early onset, triple negative, and HER2-negative metastatic breast cancers. Results may elucidate how changes in testing practices impact treatment decisions.


Mobidiag announced this week that it has completed a previously announced €10 million ($11.33 million) equity investment from Autobio Diagnostics. Mobidiag will use the proceeds from the equity investment to continue developing its product portfolio, to accelerate the development of further assays for the Novodiag infectious disease molecular diagnostics system, to enhance its manufacturing capabilities, and to continue its commercial expansion.


Cofactor Genomics this week announced a $100,000 grant program to reward innovations with the Cofactor ImmunoPrism assay. In December, Cofactor made its proprietary database of health expression models (HEMs), which are used in the ImmunoPrism assay to enable quantification of immune cells and subtypes in solid tumor tissue, available to researchers. Built using machine-learning, the models have demonstrated measurable improvements to sensitivity and specificity over single-gene approaches currently used by the field, Cofactor said. Applications for the grant program will be accepted through April 15, and more details can be found on the company's website.


Chromatrap and Covaris said this week that they have partnered to offer a "highly scalable and simple" chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) workflow that enables researchers to isolate protein-DNA complexes for downstream applications such as ChIP-Seq, ChIP-qPCR, next-generation sequencing, and mass spectrometry. Preparing samples for ChIP has traditionally been a multi-step, time-consuming, and error-prone workflow, the partners said, adding that pairing the bead-free Chromatrap immunoprecipitation system with the Covaris TruChIP and AFA sample preparation technologies will enable investigators to rapidly profile protein-DNA interactions of interest. Chromatrap is a brand of Porvair Sciences in the UK.


Gestalt Diagnostics said this week it has finalized the acquisition of lab integration service firm Peak Medical. The acquisition expands Gestalt's digital pathology integrations services division and provides expertise in healthcare connectivity services to the industry, and integration and support for LIS solutions, the company said. Peak and its employees will be absorbed into Gestalt, and the two firms will be combined under the Gestalt name. Financial and other terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.


uBiome said this week that it has been granted ISO 15189 Accreditation for Clinical Testing Laboratories by A2LA, which establishes requirements for medical laboratories to demonstrate competence to deliver timely, accurate, and reliable results to an international standard. ISO 15189 accreditation involves an independent assessment of the clinical testing laboratory that includes an examination of personnel qualifications and competence, equipment, reagents and supplies, quality assurance, and pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical factors, the company 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.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.