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Washington University, BostonGene Expand Kidney Cancer Research Collaboration

NEW YORK – Washington University in St. Louis and informatics firm BostonGene announced Thursday an expanded collaboration on profiling renal cell carcinoma (RCC), a type of kidney cancer, and its tumor microenvironment.

"We're collaborating with BostonGene to evaluate how its technology, which includes the integrated analysis of NGS and multiplex immunofluorescence imaging, can be applied to help make treatment decisions for individual patients with renal cell carcinoma and ultimately improve patient outcomes," James Hsieh, a medical oncologist and professor of medicine at WUSTL, said in a statement.

BostonGene will use its software to analyze data from whole-exome sequencing, transcriptome sequencing, single nuclei RNA sequencing, whole-genome bisulfite sequencing for methylation analysis, cytometry, immunofluorescence microscopy, and clinical tests including PD-L1 expression and blood cell count.

The RCC study is part of a master agreement signed in October 2019 to collaborate on multiple research projects. Financial and other details of the master agreement have not been disclosed.

Waltham, Massachusetts-based BostonGene, which emerged from stealth in early 2019, has raised at least $50 million and has already announced collaborations with the National Institutes of Health, Weill Cornell Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

WUSTL and BostonGene noted they will be evaluating response to treatments already approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The Scan

University of Michigan President Fired

Mark Schlissel, the president of the University of Michigan, has been fired after an investigation into allegations he had an affair with a subordinate, the Washington Post reports.

Recommendation to Drop Charges

The Wall Street Journal says federal prosecutors recommended charges against MIT's Gang Chen, who was caught up by the China Initiative, be dropped.

Mix 'Em Together

The Guardian reports Moderna is planning to have a combination SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and RSV vaccine by the 2023 flu season.

PNAS Papers on Earth BioGenome Project, SETX Knockouts, Pig Model of Cystic Fibrosis

In PNAS this week: Earth BioGenome Project reports progress, analysis of cells missing the progressive neurodegenerative disease-linked SETX gene, and more.