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In Brief This Week: Epigenomics; Chronix Biomedical; Source Bioscience, Illumina; Genewiz; CambridgeSoft, VIB; Isilon Systems, TGen; and More

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Epigenomics said this week that updated study data on its Septin9 biomarker had detected colorectal cancer cases with a sensitivity of 63 percent and specificity of around 89 percent. The German molecular diagnostics firm said that the results meet the targeted specificity range of 85 percent to 90 percent, which should support public and private payer coverage and reimbursement. The results met the firm's primary study objective.

Chronix Biomedical this week said that a study published in the current online edition of Molecular Cancer Research showed that the firm's method of detecting invasive breast cancer using circulating DNA had a specificity level of 95 percent and sensitivity of 90 percent.

"The promising diagnostic sensitivity and specificity achieved in this study further confirm the value of circulating DNA for disease detection and suggest that laboratory tests using this approach may have the potential both to screen large populations for cancer before symptoms appear and to monitor patients for the recurrence of cancer once treated," William Mitchell, professor of pathology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and a co-author of the study, said in a statement.

Source BioScience said this week that it is the first UK lab customer to purchase Illumina's new HiSeq 2000 high-throughput, next-generation sequencing platform. Source BioScience said it is the UK's only Illumina CSPro certified sequencing lab.

Genewiz has added gene synthesis to its services offerings. The firm said that it can synthesize genes of varying complexities with extremely high success rates, spanning short genes to long, 50-kb genes and difficult genes with repetitive sequences, high GC-content, or secondary structures.

Belgian non-profit institute VIB has chosen CambridgeSoft's E-Notebook for capturing and sharing data across its biotechnology domains, including genomics, plant biology, neurobiology, and microbiology.

Isilon Systems this week said that the Translational Genomics Research Institute is using the firm's Isilon IQ scale-out NAS as the primary storage solution for the institute's genome sequencing research.

Sample prep technologies firm Microchip Biotechnologies has changed its name to IntegenX.

Dotmatics has licensed its informatics suite to Heptares Therapeutics. The suit covers SAR analysis, chemical informatics, data capture, knowledge management compound sourcing and business intelligence solutions.

The Scan

Panel Votes for COVID-19 Pill

A US Food and Drug Administration panel has voted to support the emergency use authorization of an antiviral pill for COVID-19 from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, CNN says.

But Not Harm

New Scientist reports that UK bioethicists say that though gene editing may improve food production, it should not harm livestock welfare.

Effectiveness Drop Anticipated

Moderna's Stéphane Bancel predicts that that current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may be less effective against the Omicron variant, the Financial Times reports.

Cell Studies of Human Chromatin Accessibility, SARS-CoV-2 Variants, Cell Signaling Networks

In Cell this week: chromatin accessibility maps of adult human tissues, modeling to track SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, and more.