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In Brief This Week: Cleveland Clinic, Cepheid, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, and More

NEW YORK – Cleveland Clinic and Brooks Automation's life sciences division Azenta Life Sciences this week opened a biospecimen sample management and repository facility on Cleveland Clinic's main campus. The facility will increase Cleveland Clinic's biobanking capacity and help accelerate translational research in precision medicine at the health center. The facility will be managed by Azenta and will make samples available to researchers at Cleveland Clinic and other institutions.

Cepheid announced this week that it has launched direct commercial operations in Canada, including direct service, order management, and technical support. The Danaher subsidiary’s GeneXpert instruments are already in use across Canada, and Cepheid said in a statement that the operations launch will help it strengthen its partnerships with Canadian healthcare leaders. The offices will be based in Markham, Ontario.

Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute this week said it has expanded its molecular testing capabilities within its pathology laboratory in Fort Myers and now will offer a broad suite of next-generation sequencing tests to patients with solid tumors and hematologic malignancies seen at its clinics throughout the state. FCS has independently validated the Illumina 500-plus solid tumor panel for use in its laboratory, and also has access to Invitae's VariantPlex Myeloid panel and FusionPlex PanHeme panel performed on the Illumina NextSeq 550Dx sequencing platform. The results from these tests will be interpreted by FCS' variant scientists using PierianDx CGW software. According to FCS, these capabilities will improve precision oncology therapy access for patients seen in the community setting and will identify clinical trial opportunities.

Lucira Health this week said its customers should dispose of Copan swabs distributed from April 22 through Sept. 22, which were included in the Lucira COVID-19 All-In-One Test Kit and Lucira Check It COVID-19 Test Kit. In July, Copan had asked the US Food and Drug Administration to recall its FloqSwabs, saying a specific "sterility assurance level … cannot be guaranteed due to intentional fraud and data integrity issues at the contract sterilizer, Steril Milano." Lucira said that its estimated expenses related to the recall were between $75,000 and $85,000, and that it intends to pass through all related expenses, including but not limited to third party and legal costs, to Copan. Lucira also said the swabs recall had no impact on its revenue recorded during the distribution period. The Emeryville, California-based developer of molecular diagnostic tests for infectious diseases added that it is offering a replacement swab for customers that purchased the test kits with the recalled swabs.

Co-Diagnostics said this week that the Saragene Dengue and Chikungunya Multiplex RT-PCR test by its CoSara Diagnostics joint venture in India has received clearance from that country’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organization.

Quest Diagnostics and the Boston Athletic Association said this week that Quest will exclusively provide on-site COVID-19 testing for the Boston marathon. Quest will test runners, staff, and volunteers in the days before the marathon, which is scheduled to take place on Oct. 11.

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

Just Breathing

A new analysis suggests that most Mycobacterium tuberculosis is spread by aerosols from breathing, rather than by coughing, the New York Times reports.

Just Like This One

NPR reports that the World Health Organization has hired a South African biotech company to recreate mRNA vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 that is similar to the one developed by Moderna.

Slow Start

The Wall Street Journal reports that Biogen's Alzheimer's disease treatment had revenues for July through September that totaled $300,000.

Genome Research Papers on Cancer Chromatin, Splicing in the Thymus, Circular RNAs in Cancer

In Genome Research this week: analysis of bivalent chromatin sites, RBFOX splicing factors' role in thymic epithelial cells, and more.