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MDx/CDx Focus: Protea, VCU on Molecular Imaging; Cancer Genetics, Roche Servicios Education Program


Protea, VCU Collaborating to Improve Molecular Imaging For Various Diseases

Protea Biosciences has inked a collaborative research agreement with Virginia Commonwealth University and its Center for Molecular Imaging to conduct research with the aim of combining Protea's ex vivo molecular imaging mass spectrometry platform LAESI with VCU's in vivo molecular PET, SPECT and MRI/MRS imaging capabilities.

Through the collaboration, the partners hope to advance new methods of elucidating the molecular underpinnings of various cancers, Alzheimer's disease, and other illnesses. Protea and VCU announced the launch of this effort at the Annual World Molecular Imaging Congress held this week in Savannah, Ga.

According to Protea CEO Steve Turner, the aim of the collaboration is "to be able to obtain data on cellular changes at the molecular level, rapidly, and in tandem with existing imaging screening methods."

Protea's LAESI DP-100, or Laser Ablation Electrospray Ionization, can generate images of biomolecules present in living cells and bacterial colonies in seconds to minutes, the company claims. This allows clinicians to pinpoint and track the molecular changes that occur in cells over time.

Meanwhile, VCU's Center for Molecular Imaging has capabilities to design and synthesize radiolabeled compounds for PET and MRI, and has expertise in multi-modality imaging.

Cancer Genetics, Roche Servicios Jointly Educate Healthcare Providers in Central America, Caribbean

Cancer Genetics has expanded its partnership with Roche Servicios, a subsidiary of Roche, to develop workshops and training programs for healthcare providers at hospitals and cancer centers in Central America and the Caribbean.

For the past year, Cancer Genetics has been providing Roche Servicios diagnostic and prognostic cancer testing services used by clinicians based in 14 different locations in Central America and the Caribbean. "This new initiative is an extension of our existing work with Roche Servicios, and it aligns with our focus on bringing our genomic testing to the community setting," Panna Sharma, CEO of Cancer Genetics, said in a statement.

This new joint effort will add to Cancer Genetics' existing Expand Dx program, which helps grow the capabilities and efficiency of community labs. Cancer Genetics and Roche Servicios plan to implement workshops and training programs for healthcare providers in these regions so that they can improve the accuracy and quality of genetic-based diagnostics, and more readily embrace targeted tools to treat cancer.

The Scan

Study Tracks Off-Target Gene Edits Linked to Epigenetic Features

Using machine learning, researchers characterize in BMC Genomics the potential off-target effects of 19 computed or experimentally determined epigenetic features during CRISPR-Cas9 editing.

Coronary Artery Disease Risk Loci, Candidate Genes Identified in GWAS Meta-Analysis

A GWAS in Nature Genetics of nearly 1.4 million coronary artery disease cases and controls focused in on more than 200 candidate causal genes, including the cell motility-related myosin gene MYO9B.

Multiple Sclerosis Contributors Found in Proteome-Wide Association Study

With a combination of genome-wide association and brain proteome data, researchers in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology tracked down dozens of potential multiple sclerosis risk proteins.

Quality Improvement Study Compares Molecular Tumor Boards, Central Consensus Recommendations

With 50 simulated cancer cases, researchers in JAMA Network Open compared molecular tumor board recommendations with central consensus plans at a dozen centers in Japan.