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In Brief This Week: Beckman Coulter; Covance; Van Andel Research Institute, Aushon BioSystems; Galapagos, Roche; CLC Bio, Riken; Biocius; SBS, ALA

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Beckman Coulter said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission today that the US Food and Drug Administration is requiring a prospective clinical study to gain 510(k) clearance for its troponin test for use on all of its automated immunoassay instruments. Last month, the firm said that it would remove its AccuTnI troponin test kits from use with its UniCel DxI immunoassay system as of May 31 due to a positive bias identified months earlier.

Covance this week said that it has launched a new unit, called the Discovery & Translational Services group, which integrates the firm's discovery services, antibody products and immunology services, Biomarker Center of Excellence, and Genomics Laboratory. The clinical research organization said that the group will leverage its equity stakes in Caprion Proteomics and Rules-Based Medicine.

The Van Andel Research Institute will use Aushon BioSystems' 2470 Arrayer technology in its Laboratory of Cancer Immunodiagnostics for the development of protein analysis methods used to identify and study protein abnormalities in the blood of cancer patients.

Galapagos this week said that it has expanded a research alliance with Roche to discover and develop new therapies for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The firms initially agreed to collaborate in January 2010, and Galapagos received €6 million ($7.4 million) from Roche. The Belgian firm, which is using its target discovery platform under the deal, could receive an additional €150 million in payments if certain milestones are met.

CLC Bio said this week that Riken Omics Science Center will use the firm's high-throughput sequence analysis infrastructure to manage and analyze large quantities of genomics data.

Biocius has opened a European office near Geneva to support sales and service for its RapidFire high-throughput mass spectrometry platform.

Members of the Society for Biomolecular Sciences and the Association for Laboratory Automation have authorized the merger of the two groups, with more than 95 percent of members voting in favor, they said this week. The merged organization will be known as the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.

The Scan

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.

EHR Quality Improvement Study Detects Demographic-Related Deficiencies in Cancer Family History Data

In a retrospective analysis in JAMA Network Open, researchers find that sex, ethnicity, language, and other features coincide with the quality of cancer family history information in a patient's record.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Linked to Gut Microbiome Community Structure Gradient in Meta-Analysis

Bringing together data from prior studies, researchers in Genome Biology track down microbial taxa and a population structure gradient with ties to ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.