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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

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

TB Resistance Insights Gleaned From Genome Sequence, Antimicrobial Response Assays

Researchers in PLOS Biology explore M. tuberculosis resistance with a combination of sequencing and assays looking at the minimum inhibitory concentrations of 13 drugs.

Mendelian Disease Genes Prioritized Using Tissue-Specific Expression Clues

Mendelian gene candidates could be flagged for further functional analyses based on tissue-specific transcriptome and proteome profiles, a new Journal of Human Genetics paper says.

Single-Cell Sequencing Points to Embryo Mosaicism

Mosaicism may affect preimplantation genetic tests for aneuploidy, a single-cell sequencing-based analysis of almost three dozen embryos in PLOS Genetics finds.