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In Brief This Week: Idaho Technology; MDxHealth; Agilent; Scienion; Verinata; Numerate, Boehringer Ingelheim

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Idaho Technology this week said that its Razor EX BioThreat Detection System has been approved and certified as an AOAC Performance Tested method for detecting Bacillus anthracis spores collected by air filters or in liquid matrices. The certification is sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security and is aimed at establishing a national program for testing and validating biosurveillance systems.

MDxHealth said this week that researchers at the University Hospital of Bonn will use the firm's epigenetic MGMT test, called PredictMDx for Glioblastoma, to select patients for a phase III clinical study of a brain cancer drug. Specifically, the test will be used to help select patients for a study evaluating the addition of lomustine to the current therapy of temozolomide/radiotherapy in MGMT methylated, newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme patients. The study is expected to last two years.

The Agilent Technologies Foundation announced that Russell Thomas of the Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences has been selected for an Agilent Thought Leader Award to support his research on methods to predict drug-induced liver injury. The award includes funding from the Agilent Technologies Foundation and instrumentation from the firm, which includes a 6460 triple quadrupole LC/MS anda microarray scanner.

Scienion has opened its US subsidiary in Princeton, NJ, to start selling its products and services directly in the North American market. The Dortmund, Germany-based firm also has plans to establish a contract manufacturing unit in North America. The firm had inked a deal to be acquired by SQI Diagnostics, but that deal was abandoned after SQI withdrew its US initial public offering in October.

Verinata Health relocated its headquarters and lab space this week from San Carlos, Calif., to Redwood City, Calif. The firm said that it has designed a clinical lab with an initial capacity of 150,000 tests annually. It expects to launch its non-invasive prenatal test for multiple chromosomal abnormalities during the first quarter of 2012.

Numerate said this week that it has entered into a collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada), under which the drug firm will use Numerate's in silico drug design technology to develop small molecule drug leads for an undisclosed infectious disease target.

In Brief This Week is a Friday column containing news items that our readers may have missed during the week.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.