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In Brief This Week: EU-Life; Cancer Genetics; US Oncology Network, Med Fusion, Foundation Medicine; Agilent; More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A new alliance of 10 European research institutes called EU-Life kicked off this week. The goal of the alliance "is to foster excellence, share knowledge, and influence policies in life sciences," it said in a statement. The members are the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Spain; VIB in Belgium; Institut Curie in France; the Netherlands Cancer Institute; the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Germany; the European Institute of Oncology in Italy; the Gulbenkian Institute of Science in Portugal; CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences; the Central European Institute of Technology in the Czech Republic; and the Institute of Molecular Medicine Finland.


Cancer Genetics said in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it has entered into a three-year joint development IP agreement with the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and OncoSpire Genomics, the newly created joint venture company established by CGI and Mayo.

As part of the agreement, CGI and Mayo will grant each other non-exclusive, non-transferable licenses to use certain IP "required for the performance of statements of work to be issued under" the agreement. IP created by OncoSpire will be owned by the company, but OncoSpire will grant to CGI and Mayo licenses to commercialize the IP in the form of diagnostic products and lab services at prices to be determined by OncoSpire's board of governors.


The US Oncology Network has chosen Med Fusion and Foundation Medicine to be its preferred diagnostic labs. The decision "is expected to advance the delivery of high-quality, precision medicine and the appropriate use of molecular diagnostics," US Oncology Network said.


Agilent Technologies opened a demo center in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, equipped with bioanalytic instruments. The center enables customers to collaborate with the firm to develop applications and methods for research and commercial implementations in the life sciences and chemical analysis industries, Agilent said.


The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Qassim University in Saudi Arabia announced a research collaboration focused on developmental biology, regenerative medicine, molecular biology, tissue engineering, and their clinical applications to dentistry. The Saban Institute will provide training and education in regenerative medicine and molecular biology to students and faculty at Qassim University as part of the collaboration.


National Jewish Health and BodySync Personal Genetics reached a deal to assess the role of genetics in weight management. The partnership will use genetic markers from BodySync to determine whether a customized nutrition and exercise regimen based on an individual's genetic profile can lead to greater weight reduction than FitLogix, National Jewish Health's current weight-management program, which combines coaching, Internet education and support, and other methods and materials.


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

The Scan

Driving Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes Down

Researchers from the UK and Italy have tested a gene drive for mosquitoes to limit the spread of malaria, NPR reports.

Office Space to Lab Space

The New York Times writes that some empty office spaces are transforming into lab spaces.

Prion Pause to Investigate

Science reports that a moratorium on prion research has been imposed at French public research institutions.

Genome Research Papers on Gut Microbe Antibiotic Response, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Clues to Metabolism, More

In Genome Research this week: gut microbial response to antibiotic treatment, approach to gauge metabolic features from single-cell RNA sequencing, and more.