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In Brief This Week: Epicrop Technologies, Clinical Genomics, CooperGenomics, and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Venture development company TechAccel said this week that it has invested in agricultural biotechnology company Epicrop Technologies. Epicrop is developing an epigenetic technology to improve crop yields. The investment is part of Epicrop's extended Series A round, which raised a total of $3.2 million. Additional investments were made by North Forty Ventures, Nelnet, Speedway Properties, and Allen & Company. TechAccel and Epicrop are also planning to create a joint venture to pursue new target crops using Epicrop's technology.


Clinical Genomics announced this week that it has signed agreements to participate in Fortified Provider Network and MultiPlan's preferred provider organization plans. Under the terms of the new agreements, the company's Colvera blood test will be available to patients in both networks. Colvera is designed to detect colorectal cancer recurrence by testing for methylation in the BCAT1 and IKZF1 genes.


CooperGenomics said this week that it has received ISO 15189 accreditation for both its London and Nottingham-based laboratories. The certification, issued by the United Kingdom Accreditation Services, validates the quality and accuracy of the genetic testing services provided by both labs.


Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science this week announced plans to build a new Innovation and Research Park that will serve as space for research labs for faculty and commercial biotech startups. The expansion will also include space for national and international life science firms. The university's board of trustees has approved the first phase of development for the science park. Groundbreaking is expected in September. In its initial phase, the park will house up to 175 researchers focused on neuroscience and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and muscular dystrophy. Investigations will also focus on genetic diseases, inflammation, and proteomics.


Great Basin Scientific said this week that its stockholders approved a reverse split of the company's common stock at a ratio between 1 for 1,700 and 1 for 2,000. The stockholders also approved an increase in Great Basin's authorized shares of common stock from 1.5 billion to 3 billion.

In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared on the GenomeWeb site.

The Scan

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.

SpliceVault Portal Provides Look at RNA Splicing Changes Linked to Genetic Variants

The portal, described in Nature Genetics, houses variant-related messenger RNA splicing insights drawn from RNA sequencing data in nearly 335,700 samples — a set known as the 300K-RNA resource.

Automated Sequencing Pipeline Appears to Allow Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Lineage Detection in Nevada Study

Researchers in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describe and assess a Clear Labs Dx automated workflow, sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis method for quickly identifying SARS-CoV-2 lineages.

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.