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In Brief This Week: ConcertAI, Devyser, DNANudge, FDA, MGI Australia, and Bio-Techne's Lunaphore

NEW YORK –  Cambridge, Massachusetts-based ConcertAI said this week that it has acquired CancerLinQ, a real-world data platform that the American Society of Clinical Oncology launched a decade earlier. ConcertAI, which provides real-world evidence and generative artificial intelligence solutions, said it will invest $250 million to enhance CancerLinQ's use of real-world data, machine learning, analytics, and other advanced technologies so that users can continue to improve cancer care and research with it. While the organizations didn't disclose the financial terms of the acquisition, they said that ASCO will remain involved in improving the platform via a multiyear cooperation agreement with CancerLinQ.  

Stockholm-based Devyser said this week that the firm has been awarded a tender with University Hospital in Bologna for the firm's genotyping tests that are used for cystic fibrosis screening and confirmation in newborns and adults. The tender is valid for three years and covers use of Devyser's CE-IVD-labeled CFTR fragment analysis tests for detection of sequence variants in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene. The firm said in a statement that the order value is estimated to be about SEK 2 million ($191,600) per year. 

Abbott said this week its board has increased the company's quarterly dividend to $.55 per share. The dividend is payable on Feb. 15, 2024, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 12, 2024.

DnaNudge announced this week that is has received medical device approval from the Ghana Food and Drugs Authority for its four-in-one molecular diagnostic assay for respiratory viruses and a point-of-care instrument. The RT-PCR test detects SARS-CoV-2, influenza A, influenza B, and respiratory syncytial virus in approximately one hour using the firm's NudgeBox portable analyzer system. DnaNudge's commercialization partner, NantNudge, will now roll out the point-of-care technology across Africa, beginning in Ghana. 

The US Food and Drug Administration this week said it is creating a new advisory committee that will help it parse the evidence on the risks and benefits of investigational interventions intended to diagnose, prevent, and treat genetic metabolic diseases. The Genetic Metabolic Diseases Advisory Committee will weigh in on technical, scientific, and policy matters raised by data submitted by sponsors seeking regulatory approval for such products. These conditions, such as Fabry disease, Tay-Sachs disease, and Hunter syndrome, are caused by genetic abnormalities that dysregulate a person's ability to convert food into energy and eliminate bodily toxins. The nine voting members in the committee must have expertise in metabolic genetics, translational research, pediatric medicine, epidemiology, statistics, and management of inborn errors of metabolism, or have experience designing trials for limited patient populations. As with all advisory committees, there will be a consumer and industry representative. The FDA is accepting nominations for members, who will be expected to serve overlapping terms of up to four years. 

MGI Australia, a subsidiary of MGI Tech, said this week that its Brisbane Customer Experience Centre (CEC) has undergone a "substantial expansion" to provide researchers in Australia and New Zealand access to the company's DNA sequencing, cell omics, and spatial omics (DCS) technologies. Established in 2021, the Brisbane CEC now hosts the first DCS lab outside of MGI's home market in China, the company said. 

Bio-Techne's Lunaphore and the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics said this week that they have been awarded an undisclosed amount of funding from Innosuisse. Lunaphore and SIB will collaborate on artificial intelligence-based assay development tools for spatial biology. 

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.