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In Brief This Week: Thermo Fisher Scientific; Exiqon; Complete Genomics; Appistry

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Thermo Fisher Scientific this week said that it has established a new Biomarker Translational Center in Cambridge, Mass. The center is focused on mass spectrometry-based biomarker discovery research and the translation of those markers into the development of routine clinical assays. The firm said the new center combines its Brahms diagnostics product lines with the capabilities of its existing Biomarkers Research Initiatives in Mass Spectrometry Center.

Vedbaek, Denmark-based Exiqon this week announced that Aros Applied Biotechnology has become a Center of Excellence providing PCR services based on Exiqon's mircury LNA Universal RT microRNA PCR product line. The Aarhus, Denmark-based genomic services provider also provides services using sequencing, microarray, and PCR products from Affymetrix, Illumina, Agilent, Qiagen, Fluidigm, and Life Technologies.

Complete Genomics this week provided details of its previously disclosed contract with Inova Health System. The Mountain View, Calif.-based sequencing services firm said that it will sequence 1,500 genomes from 500 babies and their parents as part of the contract.

The partnership is part of a pilot program with the Inova Translational Medicine Institute (ITMI), a not-for-profit research institute within the Inova Health System in Falls Church, Va. The goal of the project is to find prognostic, diagnostic, and therapeutic targets for pre-term delivery and potentially other obstetrics associated abnormalities.

Complete Genomics said that it will begin delivering variant reports to ITMI as early as the fourth quarter of this year, and it expects to finish a large majority of the 1,500 genomes in the first quarter of 2012. It also noted that in addition to sequence-based data, researchers at the institute will generate epigenomic, expression, and microRNA data on each sample.

Appistry, a St. Louis-based developer of cloud-based architectures for advanced data management, this week announced the creation of a dedicated life sciences group at the firm to develop and market cloud-based products for next-generation sequencing. It already sells software, now rebranded as Ayrris/BIO, for human exome, whole human genome, bovine, maize, and other organisms.

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

The Scan

Response Too Slow, Cautious

A new report criticizes the global response to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nature News reports.

Pushed a Bit Later

Novavax has pushed back its timeline for filing for authorization for its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, according to Bloomberg.

AMA Announces Anti-Racism Effort

The Associated Press reports that the American Medical Association has released a plan to address systemic racism in healthcare.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on miRMaster 2.0, MutationTaster2021, LipidSuite

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: tool to examine small non-coding RNAs, approach to predict ramifications of DNA variants, and more.