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In Brief This Week: Roche, Guardant Health, Diagnomics, Canadian Genomics Cloud, More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Roche said this week that it had established a strategic alliance with Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratories of Milwaukee that designates the institution as a Roche Molecular Center of Excellence. The Roche center, established in 2002, enables non-competing regional labs across the US "to collaborate and capitalize on scientific knowledge in molecular testing and, in turn, help accelerate the advancement of new test methods and technology," the firm said. Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratories serves more than 30 hospitals, 500 long-term care facilities, and 100 outreach practices in Wisconsin and the Chicago area.

Guardant Health said that its Guardant360 assay has received expedited access pathway designation from the US Food and Drug Administration. The designation will allow the company to work with the FDA and finalize its data development plan as it prepares a regulatory submission later this year, Guardant Health said. The liquid biopsy test was developed so that oncologists can select the most appropriate treatment for their patients, eliminating the need for an invasive tissue biopsy. The expedited access pathway is intended to accelerate an FDA review of breakthrough technologies and medical devices that serve unmet medical needs.

Diagnomics' San Diego laboratory has been accredited by the College of American Pathologists. The lab was previously CLIA certified in 2015. Achieving both designations will allow the company to expand into new diagnostic markets, including NIPT, cancer screening, and clinical sample management and trial support, Diagnomics Chairman Min Seob Lee said in a statement.

A national consortium of industry and academic collaborators this week launched the Canadian Genomics Cloud, a publicly available integrated software platform to manage, analyze, and share genome sequence and clinical data. The cloud provides on-demand access to popular data analysis workflows like the Broad Institute's GATK4, Verily's Deep Variant, and Sentieon's DNAseq. It supports machine learning through Google's TensorFlow and secure data sharing through GA4GH Beacon and Matchmaker. The cloud is being developed to support CGEn, a Canadian national network of genome sequencing centers in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. The platform will also be used to support SickKids Cancer Sequencing, a pediatric cancer genome sequencing program led by researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children. It is deployed on Google's new cloud computing facility in Montreal, which opened earlier this month, and will soon allow federated sharing and analysis of data between multiple cloud providers including Microsoft Azure and Canada's leading clinical record vendor.

Avalon GloboCare said that its GenExosome Technologies subsidiary has launched US operations with new headquarters in Ohio. The firm plans to market and distribute its Exosome Isolation Systems out of the new location. The Exosome Isolation Systems are designed for biomarker discovery, clinical diagnostic development, and the advancement of targeted therapies, the firm said. It currently has research kits and services available to isolate exosomes or extract exosomal RNA/protein from serum/plasma, urine, and saliva samples.

Abbott's board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 28 cents per share payable May 15, 2018, to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 13, 2018.

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