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In Brief This Week: Ginkgo Bioworks, Cordance Medical, Nucleix, Yale, ERS Genomics, Caris, More

NEW YORK – Ginkgo Bioworks said this week that it has partnered with researchers at Penn State University on pathogen surveillance in wildlife. Under the collaboration, which is supported by the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the company's Concentric by Ginkgo unit will provide biosurveillance research and analytics services to help monitor SARS-CoV-2 in 58 wildlife species and detect potential spillover to humans. The aim is to identify which animal species are infected with the virus and can transmit it to others. 

Cordance Medical said this week that its NeuroAccess device has received breakthrough device designation from the US Food and Drug Administration. The device employs focused ultrasound and microbubbles to open the blood brain barrier temporarily and noninvasively. This allows cell-free DNA from the brain to enter the blood circulation, where it can be analyzed by existing cancer liquid biopsy tests. The so-called "SonoBiopsy" technology was developed by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, who demonstrated it earlier this year in brain cancer patients. Cordance Medical licensed patents related to the technology from WashU last month. 

Nucleix said this week its CE-marked Bladder EpiCheck liquid biopsy test for detection of primary or recurrent bladder cancer is available in France through the firm's participation in the Association Francaise d'Urologie Registry of the Therapeutic Management and Follow-up of Non-Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer. The registry is evaluating the diagnostic performance of urine biomarkers and comparing them with bladder endoscopy results performed during two years of follow-up testing. The Bladder EpiCheck test, which is used to detect disease-specific changes across 15 methylation markers, is also US Food and Drug Administration 510(k)-cleared for detection of bladder cancer recurrence.  

ERS Genomics said this week that it has signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement with CHUM Research Centre (CRCHUM) at the University of Montreal, granting the center research rights to its gene editing patent portfolio. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. ERS Genomics provides access to foundational CRISPR/Cas9 intellectual property, including more than 100 patents worldwide, held by Nobel Laureate Emmanuelle Charpentier. 

New York State is making newborn screening for Duchenne muscular dystrophy mandatory for all babies born in the state, advocacy group Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy said this week. Starting in 2024, all newborns in the state will undergo screening for the inherited disease, and at least 21 infants are expected to be diagnosed with Duchenne. The state's decision was based on a pilot program that ran from 2019 to 2021 and identified four infants with Duchenne or Becker muscular dystrophy. New York State is the second state, after Ohio, to make newborn screening for Duchenne mandatory. 

Yale School of Medicine this week announced it will launch the Stephen and Denise Adams Center for Parkinson's Disease Research, in which researchers will work to develop precision diagnostics and treatments for the neurodegenerative disorder. Researchers at the center also plan to create a biobank of data for research and create analytic tools that use genetics and other health data to predict patients' likelihood of developing the disease and what therapeutics might help to prevent debilitating symptoms. The center will bring together scientists and engineers from neurology, neuroscience, cell biology, genetics, bioinformatics, and computer science. 

Caris Life Sciences said this week that Sarah Cannon Research Institute (SCRI) has joined the Caris Precision Oncology Alliance. The alliance is a network of almost 90 cancer centers, academic institutions, research consortia, and healthcare systems that collaborate to advance precision oncology and biomarker-driven research. They have access to Caris' database and artificial intelligence platform to establish standards for cancer profiling and molecular testing in oncology. 

The board of directors of Revvity have declared a quarterly dividend of $.07 per share to be paid on Feb. 9, 2024, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Jan. 19, 2024.

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.