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In Brief This Week: 23andMe; Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine; Eurofins Genomics; Proteome Sciences; Epigenomics; Molecular Response

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – 23andMe, which was told by the US Food and Drug Administration last year to stop marketing its health-related genetic tests directly to patients, said this week said it will offer its health and ancestry service in Canada through its Personal Genome Service. In addition to genetic ancestry analysis, customers in Canada will be able to access 108 health-related reports, including genetic risk factors for various health conditions, drug response, trait reports, and inherited conditions, 23andMe said. Its launch into Canada comes after the FDA halted the Personal Genome Service late last year, saying 23andMe failed to address the agency's questions about the clinical and analytical validity of the product.


The Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine was launched to support clinical scientists involved in genomics and proteomics. The Institute has formed a partnership with Phoenix Children's Hospital to establish the Chan Soon-Shiong Children's Precision Medicine Institute, the first of multiple institutions that CSSIOMM plans to launch "to support healthcare organizations in developing the most comprehensive genomic and proteomic database to advance the treatment of cancer and other malignancies," it said in a statement. Phoenix Children's Hospital will house a supercomputer for genomics and proteomics analyses.


Eurofins Genomics, the genomics division of the Eurofins Scientific Group, has established a subsidiary in Milan, Italy. The company earlier this year bought the oligonucleotide synthesis and DNA sequencing business of Primm and ended its agreement with Carlo Erba to represent its products. The creation of its Italian subsidiary represents "an important step toward a direct cooperation and improved presence to [its] customers in Italy," Eurofins Genomics said.


Proteome Sciences' revenues for the first six months of 2014 decreased 11 percent year over year to £784,276 ($1.3 million) from £885,475. Revenues from licenses, sales, and services slipped to £711,713 from £751,964, while grant service-related revenues dropped to £72,563 from £133,511. The UK firm posted a loss from continuing operations of £1.8 million from £1.7 million. On a per-share basis, it had a loss of 88 pence for H1 2014, compared to a loss of 86 pence in H1 2013. Administrative expenses increased to £2.5 million from £2.3 million. Proteome Sciences said it had cash and cash equivalents of £3.5 million as of June 30.


Epigenomics has completed the design of the Adherence to Minimally Invasive Testing (ADMIT) study, which aims to demonstrate that the firm's Epi proColon test will increase the participation of patients in colorectal cancer screening when offered the test, compared to those offered fecal immunochemical testing. The study was requested by the FDA in its response letter to Epigenomics in June saying Epi proColon was not approvable. The ADMIT study will be conducted with average risk, screening-eligible patients who have a history of not being compliant with colorectal cancer screening. The patients will be randomized into two groups, one offered Epi proColon and the other offered FIT.


Molecular Response opened a new, purpose-built facility in San Diego. The facility is CLIA-certified and accredited by the College of American Pathologists. The company provides clinical trial support services to pharmaceutical partners.


In Brief This Week is a Friday column containing news items that our readers may have missed during the week.

The Scan

Team Tracks Down Potential Blood Plasma Markers Linked to Heart Failure in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Researchers in BMC Genomics found 10 differentially expressed proteins or metabolites that marked atrial fibrillation with heart failure cases.

Study Points to Synonymous Mutation Effects on E. Coli Enzyme Activity

Researchers in Nature Chemistry saw signs of enzyme activity shifts in the presence of synonymous mutations in a multiscale modeling analysis of three Escherichia coli genes.

Team Outlines Paternal Sample-Free Single-Gene Approach for Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening

With data for nearly 9,200 pregnant individuals, researchers in Genetics in Medicine demonstrate the feasibility of their carrier screening and reflex single-gene non-invasive prenatal screening approach.

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.