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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

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.