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In Brief This Week: Strata Oncology, University of Maryland Medicine, Helio Health, More

NEW YORK – Strata Oncology said this week that Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute and the University of Michigan Health Rogel Cancer Center have become clinical trial sites for Strata Sentinel, a prospective, observational study of the StrataMRD minimal residual disease test. The 100,000-patient trial was launched last year to validate the company's tumor-informed, personalized MRD assay methodology, which is similar to technology advanced by companies like Natera and various other recent entrants to the market. "With the Strata Sentinel trial, we aim to demonstrate the utility of detecting recurrence as soon as possible," Lehigh Physician in Chief Suresh Nair said in a statement. "We will also evaluate the clinical benefit of treating patients with micrometastatic disease, including with biomarker-matched therapies chosen based on the extended treatment selection data provided by the Strata Oncology platform," he added. 

University of Maryland Medicine (UMM), a joint enterprise of the University of Maryland Medical School and University of Maryland Medical System, has launched the My Healthy Maryland precision medicine research study. The project aims to enroll 250,000 Maryland residents over the next decade, with a particular focus on underserved populations who experience significant health disparities. As part of the effort, researchers will collect broad health data, including genetic information, to help better understand human genomic variation and its relationship to disease and treatment. As previously reported, UMM partnered with digital health research company Vibrent Health to host the study on Vibrent's Digital Health Research Platform, which is designed to recruit and engage diverse research participants and take in data from surveys, genomics, biosamples, electronic health records, wearables, and other sources. 

AI-driven healthcare company Helio Health said this week that it has changed its name to Helio Genomics. The Irvine, California-based firm said the new name better reflects its focus on epigenetics and its commitment to advancing technology for early cancer detection and surveillance. Helio Genomics’ technology platform, Eclipse, detects methylation patterns in cell-free DNA from blood samples and uses next-generation sequencing to identify biomarkers of cancer. Its HelioLiver blood test combines cfDNA methylation patterns and serum protein markers to detect hepatocellular carcinoma. 

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), a nonprofit organization of storage professionals, said this week that the DNA Data Storage Alliance has joined it as a technology affiliate group. The alliance, formed in 2020 by Illumina, Microsoft, Twist Bioscience, and Western Digital, aims to create an interoperable ecosystem for DNA-based data storage products. By joining SNIA, the group hopes to jumpstart the development of standards for DNA data storage under the established SNIA IP policy structure.

Burning Rock Biotech said this week that its board of directors has authorized a share repurchase plan, under which the company may repurchase its Class A ordinary shares in the form of American depositary shares (ADSs) with an aggregate value of up to $10 million during a 12-month period, funding the repurchase from its existing cash balance. The board also passed a motion to pursue an alternative listing of the company’s Class A ordinary shares on an internationally recognized stock exchange. The alternative listing is expected to offer fungibility with the ADSs currently listed on the Nasdaq. 

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.