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In Brief This Week: Celera, Eureka Genomics, Knome; Genomic Health, and more

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Celera presented data at the annual American Association for Cancer Research meeting describing its mass spectrometry-based approach to identify and validate circulating protein biomarkers that detect non-small cell lung cancer. The company said that one outcome of the study was an immunoassay test for a panel of six biomarkers that detected lung cancer with 94 percent sensitivity and 93 percent specificity in a blinded analysis. The panel detected all stages of lung cancer studied and all major histological subtypes, and also accurately distinguished malignant cases from benign lung disease, the company said.

A Celera spokeswoman told GenomeWeb Daily News sister publication Pharmacogenomics Reporter that, based on the study results, the company moved up commercialization plans for the lung cancer test by one to two years and estimates that it will launch the test by 2012.

Eureka Genomics has deployed an Illumina Genome Analyzer for its Eureka Genomics Center — the first of 15 genomics service centers that it plans to open around the world. The next three centers are scheduled to open in Southeast Asia, Central America., and Europe within the next 12 months, the company said. Eureka has forecast more than $3 million in service sales over the next twelve months.

Personal genomics company Knome and the X Prize Foundation are jointly auctioning off sequencing and analysis services for an individual's genome. Bidding for the service, provided by Knome, has begun on eBay with a minimum bid of $68,000, and will run until May 4. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the X Prize Foundation.

Metabolon has launched the Metabolomics Research Grant program, which is designed to promote and expand metabolomics by awarding qualified institutions awards for global biochemical profiling studies. The company said that it will regularly select studies for the grant program based on the scientific merit and impact of the proposed study. The grant can be applied toward the company's mView metabolomics service and will cover some or all of the service.

Genomic Health said that results of a multi-center Japanese study have demonstrated that its Oncotype DX breast cancer assay had "significant prognostic value" in identifying Japanese women with estrogen receptor-positive early-stage breast cancer who had a low likelihood of distant recurrence. Researchers from the Japan Breast Cancer Research Group presented the data at the 2009 Kyoto Breast Cancer Consensus Conference International Convention in Kyoto, Japan, on April 17. "Based on these results, we believe that Oncotype DX should be integrated into standard breast cancer treatment planning for patients in Japan," said Masakazu Toi, a professor in the Department of Surgery at Kyoto University School of Medicine and a director of the Japan Breast Cancer Research Group.

The National Cancer Institute has named health informatics firm CTIS a licensed Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid Support Service Provider in the categories of Help Desk Support for the Clinical Trials Compatibility Framework, Deployment Support for caBIG Software Applications, and Training Material and Services.

The Scan

Cell Signaling Pathway Identified as Metastasis Suppressor

A new study in Nature homes in on the STING pathway as a suppressor of metastasis in a mouse model of lung cancer.

Using Bees to Gain Insights into Urban Microbiomes

As bees buzz around, they pick up debris that provides insight into the metagenome of their surroundings, researchers report in Environmental Microbiome.

Age, Genetic Risk Tied to Blood Lipid Changes in New Study

A study appearing in JAMA Network Open suggests strategies to address high lipid levels should focus on individuals with high genetic risk and at specific ages.

Study Examines Insights Gained by Adjunct Trio RNA Sequencing in Complex Pediatric Disease Cases

Researchers in AJHG explore the diagnostic utility of adding parent-child RNA-seq to genome sequencing in dozens of families with complex, undiagnosed genetic disease.