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In Brief This Week: Enigma Diagnostics; Spartan Bioscience; BioDiscovery

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Enigma Diagnostics this week said that it has received a Biomedical Catalyst grant from the UK government to support further development of multiplexed PCR assays using the firm's ResonSense probing technology. It didn't disclose the amount of funding it received under the grant. The firm said it plans to use the money to demonstrate ResonSense can detect and differentiate "many more target sequences in a single closed-tube assay than conventional PCR chemistries."

It said the first test employing the technology will be a multiplexed assay for tuberculosis detection, and the firm also plans a test for influenza, as well as other tests for infectious diseases and cancer.

Spartan Bioscience said that its CYP2C19 test will be used in a recently launched 5,945-patient study evaluating personalized medicine options for cardiac stent patients. The trial will evaluate whether ticagrelor (AstraZeneca's Brilinta) is superior to clopidogrel (Bristol-Myers Squibb/ Sanofi's Plavix) for reducing heart attacks, strokes, deaths, and other complications in cardiac stent patients carrying mutations in the CYP2C19 gene. The Spartan test is a point-of-care DNA assay that can provide results in one hour, the Ottawa, Ontario-based firm said.

Hawthorne, Calif.-based BioDiscovery has launched a software donation program for researchers conducting pediatric disease studies. The company said that it will allocate $100,000 worth of software licenses per year that will be donated to such researchers. Its software includes DNA copy number, gene and miRNA expression, and methylation analysis products for use with microarray and next-generation sequencing technologies.

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

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.