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In Brief This Week: Yourgene Health, Bionano Laboratories, Caris Life Sciences, More

NEW YORK – Yourgene Health said this week that it has received Health Science Authority (HAS) approval for its Iona Nx NIPT workflow in Singapore. The noninvasive prenatal screening workflow, which tests for trisomies 21, 18, and 13 and other chromosomal aneuploidies, is now authorized for use in clinical laboratories in this country. 


Bionano Laboratories, a newly formed subsidiary of Bionano Genomics, announced a collaboration with OptraHealth this week to improve its customer testing experience by adopting OptraHealth’s AI-based HealthFax platform. With its new operational workflow, Bionano Laboratories said the platform will provide patients with information on the genetic testing process and testing options, as well as collect personal and family history to facilitate future potential discussions with genetic counselors. Bionano CEO Erik Holmlin said in a statement that the implementation of the platform will help Bionano Laboratories “scale as it expands services in the future.” 


Caris Life Sciences has added two new institutions  St. Luke's University Health Network and Indiana University’s Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center  to its Precision Oncology Alliance, a global network of cancer centers that pledged to collaborate in advancing precision oncology and biomarker-driven researchThe Alliance currently includes 72 cancer centers and academic institutions, which enjoy early access to the firm’s database and artificial intelligence platform, enabling evidence-based standards for cancer profiling and molecular testing in oncology. Members also gain access to Caris’ CODEai database, which contains cancer treatment information and clinical outcomes data for over 275,000 patients. 


Becton Dickinson, along with Heart to Heart International, the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, and Henry Schein Cares, said this week that it has awarded six free and charitable clinics in the US product-based grants worth a total of $360,000. The BD Point-of-Care, Enhancing Clinical Effectiveness (PoCECE) initiative will provide the clinics with lab equipment to evaluate patients and receive diagnostic test results while still on-site. The grants include a CLIA-waived test system and assays, as well as training and technical support. The recipients are the Agape Medical Clinic in Weatherford, Oklahoma; Esperanza Center in Baltimore, Maryland; La Clinica Gratis of Community Initiatives in Greenwood, South Carolina; Viola Startzman Clinic in Wooster, Ohio; Premier Mobile Health Services in Fort Meyers, Florida; and The Free Clinics in Hendersonville, North Carolina. 


Angle said this week that it had £400,000 ($439,000) in revenues for the first half of 2022, up 33 percent from £300,000 a year ago. For the six months ended June 30, the UK firm posted a loss of £9.2 million compared to a loss of £7.7 million a year ago, which it said reflected planned investment. Angle exited H1 2022 with £20.5 million in cash and cash equivalents and raised an additional £18.9 million in net proceeds since then. 


Swiss proteomics firm Biognosys said this week that it has opened an office in Cambridge, Massachusetts as part of its ongoing expansion into North America. The office will house the company's US-based business development and scientific teams and will facilitate meetings and collaborations with US-based pharma and biotech companies.


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

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.