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In Brief This Week: Grail, Stilla Technologies, SpeeDx, and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Grail announced this week that the US Food and Drug Administration has granted breakthrough device status to the firm's multi-cancer test. Grail is developing its investigational liquid biopsy for early detection of cancer in people aged 50 or older.


Stilla Technologies said this week that it has signed a three-year collaborative agreement with Ghent University for training, research, and exploration of novel applications of digital PCR. The partners plan to offer dPCR users hands-on training courses, webinars, and seminars in on dPCR. They're also aiming to optimize and validate assays based on Stilla's Naica dPCR system for a broad range of experiments, and provide a platform for users to validate their samples on the Naica system with the help of dPCR experts from the university. The Naica system offers multiplexing to detect multiple target genes in a single assay with high precision and accuracy.


SpeeDx said this week that its PlexPCR RespiVirus test has received regulatory clearance from the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration. The assay uses PlexPCR technology to detect 11 viral respiratory illness-causing pathogens including influenza A, influenza B, rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial viruses (A and B), human metapneumovirus, adenovirus, and human parainfluenza viruses 1, 2, 3, and 4.


Quest Diagnostics this week announced a quarterly cash dividend of $.53 per share, payable on July 22 to shareholders of record on July 8.


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

Panel Votes for COVID-19 Pill

A US Food and Drug Administration panel has voted to support the emergency use authorization of an antiviral pill for COVID-19 from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, CNN says.

But Not Harm

New Scientist reports that UK bioethicists say that though gene editing may improve food production, it should not harm livestock welfare.

Effectiveness Drop Anticipated

Moderna's Stéphane Bancel predicts that that current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may be less effective against the Omicron variant, the Financial Times reports.

Cell Studies of Human Chromatin Accessibility, SARS-CoV-2 Variants, Cell Signaling Networks

In Cell this week: chromatin accessibility maps of adult human tissues, modeling to track SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, and more.