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In Brief This Week: New York Genome Center, Omicia, NanoString

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Johnson & Johnson Innovation, New York State, and the New York Genome Center this week announced they are collaborating to launch a new JLABS in New York City. The 30,000-square foot facility, called [email protected], will be located at the New York Genome Center in Soho and will open in 2018. New York State is investing $17 million in funding, and the space will be open to biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device, and consumer health companies. Johnson & Johnson Innovation will launch a Quick Fire Challenge to seek companies working in these areas, particularly startups working on ways to prevent or cure diseases.


Omicia said this week that it was selected to join the Cancer Moonshot's Blood Profiling Atlas in Cancer (Blood PAC) consortium. Omicia will provide the Blood PAC with clinical informatics tools for the analysis of circulating tumor DNA from liquid biopsy samples.


NanoString Technologies said this week that the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association's Center for Clinical Effectiveness, called Evidence Street, has issued a positive assessment of the company's Prosigna Breast Cancer Gene Signature Assay. The positive Evidence Street assessment is in line with updated ASCO guidelines released in February 2016 recommending the use of Prosigna to guide decisions on adjuvant systemic therapy for women with early-stage invasive breast cancer with known hormone receptor and HER2 status, NanoString said. The firm hopes the positive assessment will help in its ongoing discussions with various BCBS insurance plans for coverage of Prosigna.


The Greenwood Genetic Center in Greenwood, South Carolina said this week that it is committing more than $5.4 million to expand and enhance molecular and metabolomic testing in the state. Specifically, the investment will buy new equipment and an expanded diagnostic test menu for the Center's Harold A. Taylor Diagnostic Laboratories. Further, future money allocated in the recently passed Greenwood County Capital Project Sales Tax Referendum will be used to run a new telecommunications network throughout the Center's campus that will allow for high-speed data capabilities. The expansion will also allow for the hiring of additional lab technologists and scientists. The Center currently employs 170 people and performs more than 27,000 lab tests a year.


SQI Diagnostics this week announced that it will extend the expiry of nearly 3 million outstanding common share purchase warrants, which were issued in connection with the company's January 2014 private placement financing. Each warrant had entitled the holder to purchase one common share of the company at any time until the close of business on Jan. 26, 2017 at an exercise price of $.64 per common share. The warrants will now be extended until Jan. 26, 2019.


Shuwen Biotech announced this week that it has received EN ISO 13485 certification. The certification ensures high quality of manufacturing for the company's IVD kits.


ProteoMediX AG, meanwhile, announced this week that it has been awarded ISO 13485:2012 certification for the design, development, control of production, and distribution of in vitro diagnostics for prostate cancer.


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

Not Immediately Told

The US National Institutes of Health tells lawmakers that one of its grantees did not immediately report that it had developed a more infectious coronavirus, Science says.

Seems Effective in Kids

The Associated Press reports that the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children appears to be highly effective at preventing symptomatic disease.

Intelligence Warning on Bioeconomy Threats

US intelligence warns over China's focus on technologies and data related to the bioeconomy, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Campylobacteriosis Sources, Inherited Retinal Dystrophies, Liver Cancer Prognosis

In PLOS this week: approach to uncover source of Campylobacteriosis, genetic risk factors for inherited retinal dystrophies, and more.