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In Brief This Week: Pacific Biosciences; GeneNews; Pathwork Diagnostics; Proteros Biostructures

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Pacific Biosciences has been added to the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index.

Nasdaq's semi-annual re-ranking has resulted in six firms being added to the Biotech Index, though PacBio is the only life science tools firm among the new members. The new Index is effective prior to market open on Monday, May 23.

GeneNews this week said that it has obtained approval from shareholders for its early warrant exercise incentive program, which it announced last month. The firm said that the program commenced on May 17 and will end on June 8. If all warrants eligible are exercised during that period, GeneNews will receive gross proceeds of up to C$4.1 million (US$4.2 million), while issuing 17.2 million common shares and 17.2 million incentive warrants.

Pathwork Diagnostics this week said that SelectHealth, the health insurance arm of Intermountain Healthcare, will provide coverage for the firm's Pathwork Tissue of Origin Test. The test uses microarray-based RNA profiling to measure similarities between a patient's RNA expression patterns and the expression patterns in a database of 15 tumor types — such as metastatic, poorly differentiated, and undifferentiated cases — that were diagnosed according to the current clinical and pathological practice. The US Food and Drug Administration initially cleared the test for marketing in 2008.

Proteros Biostructures will provide crystallography services for certain drug discovery projects being undertaken by Hutchison MediPharma, under an agreement announced this week. Proteros said it will support Hutchison's discovery research with Protein-Ligand structure analysis this year and beyond. Additional terms were not disclosed.

The Scan

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

US Survey Data Suggests Ancestry Testing Leads Way in Awareness, Use of Genetic Testing Awareness

Although roughly three-quarters of surveyed individuals in a Genetics in Medicine study reported awareness of genetic testing, use of such tests was lower and varied with income, ancestry, and disease history.

Coral Genome Leads to Alternative Amino Acid Pathway Found in Other Non-Model Animals

An alternative cysteine biosynthesis pathway unearthed in the Acropora loripes genome subsequently turned up in sequences from non-mammalian, -nematode, or -arthropod animals, researchers report in Science Advances.

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.