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In Brief This Week: Pacific Biosciences, Pierian, PerkinElmer, Ginkgo Bioworks, More

NEW YORK – Pacific Biosciences said this week that it has created the Consortium for Long-Read Sequencing (Colors).

The consortium will aim to accelerate utility of long-read human genome data sets by creating a database of population frequency of human genomic variants to be housed by the National Human Genome Research Institute's Analysis, Visualization, and Informatics Lab-space (AnVIL). Chaired by Michael Schatz of Johns Hopkins University and Evan Eichler of the University of Washington, the consortium launched with more than 20 investigator members worldwide.

It has received funds from the National Institutes of Health Office of Data Science Strategy and NHGRI and will be used in the All of Us program.

Pierian said this week that it has teamed up with P4 Diagnostix, a laboratory network, to help physician-owned labs that specialize in urology, gastroenterology, or women's health establish next-generation sequencing testing for hereditary cancer. Joint customers of Pierian and P4 will have access to a technical assessment consultation, validation services, and clinical sample procurement for workflow design and implementation of NGS. Last month, P4 and Pierian said they had partnered to offer somatic prostate cancer testing.

PerkinElmer said this week it expects to beat prior guidance on adjusted earnings per share for Q3, which ended Oct. 2, and the firm's total revenue will be near the high end of the guidance range due to favorable foreign exchange rates. It said the quarterly results, which will be announced Nov. 8, will likely also reflect growth in the firm's organic revenue and non-COVID-19 organic revenue.

Decode Health said this week that it has expanded its collaboration with Quest Diagnostics to discover biomarkers for metabolic disease and autoimmune neurology. Earlier, the two partners had developed RNA sequencing capabilities. Building on this, they have now developed a national platform for collecting and storing de-identified consented specimens from participants in research studies sponsored by pharmaceutical firms, academic institutions, and patient engagement organizations. This includes Quest's 2,100 patient service centers and its ExamOne mobile in-home phlebotomy team, as well as a biobank at its laboratory in Memphis, Tennessee. Quest and Decode will share benefits from research, data licensing, biomarker discovery, or diagnostics development resulting from the partnership, which will initially focus on multiple sclerosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, with plans to expand to other disease areas later. Financial and other terms were not disclosed.

Nucleix announced this week that its San Diego-based clinical laboratory received accreditation by the College of American Pathologists. The CAP accreditation follows an earlier CLIA accreditation.

BGI Australia this week received accreditation from the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) for clinical whole-exome sequencing in Australia. The company said its 460-square-meter lab, located at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane, will start to provide clinical services after receiving the accreditation. Building on experience from this accreditation process, BGI Australia said it will look to expand its testing offerings as well as to seek partnerships in technology transfer.

Ginkgo Bioworks said this week that it has completed its acquisition of Zymergen. For each share of Zymergen, stockholders received 0.9179 shares of Ginkgo Class A common stock.

The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation said this week that ISO 20387 has been added to its mutual recognition agreement with the Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation. According to the International Organization for Standards, the ISO 20387 standard is applicable to all organizations performing biobanking, including biobanking of biological materials from multicellular organisms and microorganisms for research and development. "Previously, there was no independent reassurance of objective evidence that a biobank was competent," Trace McInturff, A2LA's VP of accreditation services, said in a statement. "Now, biobanks can provide assurance to their end users that the biological material stored and processed by accredited biobanks is of the highest level for research and development purposes."

Ovation Fertility has licensed Genomic Prediction's LifeView PGT Platform for genetic testing, and will now offer the test to its IVF patients. Studies comparing LifeView PGT to conventional next-generation sequencing methods have demonstrated significantly improved clinical outcomes for IVF patients, including higher clinical pregnancy rates and lower miscarriage rates, Genomic Prediction said. The company added that LifeView PGT provides several capabilities beyond conventional methods including giving patients the option of obtaining additional information on the origin of aneuploidy, with improved accuracy of detecting mosaicism; and providing patients the option to obtain "embryo health scores," with PGT for polygenic conditions.

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.