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In Brief This Week: Bio-Techne, Dante Labs, Metagenomi, Applied DNA Sciences, Caris Life Sciences

NEW YORK – Bio-Techne this week announced it has completed the previously announced acquisition of Asuragen for $215 million in cash and up to $105 million upon the achievement of future milestones.

The Asuragen acquisition added a portfolio of molecular diagnostic tests and research products, including genetic screening kits, oncology testing kits, and molecular controls, Bio-Techne said. Asuragen also has a 50,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, a CLIA-certified laboratory, and expertise in bringing diagnostic tests to market through regulatory processes.


Dante Labs said this week that it has received ISO 13485:2016 certification from the British Standards Institution Group for its Immensa genomic interpretation software as a medical device. Validation involved using whole-genome sequencing data from 500,000 samples. Illumina instruments were used for the sequencing. The New York-based company already has CE-IVD marking for Immensa.


Gene editing company Metagenomi this week announce the extension and close of its previously announced $65 million series A financing round, bringing the round to a total of $75 million. The company leverages a metagenomics-based discovery engine to develop CRISPR-based systems for human therapeutic use, and said it would use the funding round to support the expansion of its team and development of its therapeutic pipeline. RA Capital Management joins the Series A investor syndicate, including co-lead investors Leaps by Bayer and Humboldt Fund, as well as Sozo Ventures, Agent Capital, InCube Ventures and HOF Capital. Andrew Levin, managing director at RA Capital, will join Metagenomi's board of directors.


Applied DNA Sciences and Northwell Health this week announced a pro bono material transfer agreement that establishes a real-time surveillance program to track and identify SARS-CoV-2 mutations and variants of concern in Northwell's COVID-positive specimens. Under the Program, deidentified positive COVID-19 specimens supplied by Northwell are being screened for SARS-CoV-2 mutations found in currently known variants of concern using Applied DNA's Linea COVID-19 Assay Kit and Selective Genomic Surveillance Mutation Panel. The program has already begun analyzing more than 2,000 samples, with early results from approximately 360 samples showing that approximately 80 percent of specimens tested contain one or more mutations, Applied DNA Sciences said.


Caris Life Sciences said this week that the Istituto Nazionale Tumori IRCCS "Fondazione G. Pascale" (Pascale Foundation) has joined its Precision Oncology Alliance, a collaborative network of leading cancer centers working to advance comprehensive cancer profiling and establish standards of care for molecular testing and personalized treatment strategies in oncology.

The largest clinical care and research cancer center in Southern Italy, Pascale Foundation joins nearly 50 other institutions in the Caris POA. Membership confers increased access to the Caris' database and artificial intelligence platform for clinical use in patient care and for studies aimed at establishing new evidence-based standards. POA members are also able to integrate with a growing portfolio of biopharma-sponsored biomarker directed trials.


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

Call to Look Again

More than a dozen researchers penned a letter in Science saying a previous investigation into the origin of SARS-CoV-2 did not give theories equal consideration.

Not Always Trusted

In a new poll, slightly more than half of US adults have a great deal or quite a lot of trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Hill reports.

Identified Decades Later

A genetic genealogy approach has identified "Christy Crystal Creek," the New York Times reports.

Science Papers Report on Splicing Enhancer, Point of Care Test for Sexual Transmitted Disease

In Science this week: a novel RNA structural element that acts as a splicing enhancer, and more.