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In Brief This Week: Roche, Genome Institute of Singapore; Bruker Daltonics; Genomic Health; RainDance Technologies; and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Roche said this week that researchers at the Genome Institute of Singapore have developed a PCR-based approach that is used with the firm's NimbleGen arrays for sequencing the entire genome of any influenza A virus in around 24 hours. According to Roche, the method will enable faster development of diagnostics for any possible new variant and rapidly determine if a strain of DNA has become drug resistant.

The firm said that Nimblegen arrays were used during the SARS outbreak in 2003 to understand the infectious source and globally monitor the SARS virus.

Roche also said this week that its Roche Applied Science business has opened a new application support center in Shanghai, China.

Bruker Daltonics said that the Schering-Plough Research Institute is using the firm's solariX FTMS platform for structural characterization and purity assessment of pharmaceuticals under development.

Genomic Health will present data at this weekend's American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Orlando from a study that used its Oncotype DX breast cancer test to identify breast cancer gene signatures in men, which were similar to signatures in female breast cancer. The test was used in the study to guide treatment with chemotherapy.

RainDance Technologies announced this week that it had received the first European order for its Sequence Enrichment Solution from Atlas Biolabs of Berlin. RainDance said that it would immediately begin designing custom DNA primer libraries for Atlas' customers and expects to ship the RDT 1000 system to the genomic services provider by July 2009.

Exiqon Diagnostics will provide oncology molecular diagnostic services for MedTrust Online's Oncocentric oncology portal, the firms said today. Under the alliance, MedTrust Online will add Exiqon Diagnostics' service offerings, clinical studies, insurance/billing information, order forms, and live forum case studies available to MedTrust's oncology health care provider user base.

The Biomarkers in Transplantation translation research initiative has launched its second phase. Under the project, which is funded by Genome British Columbia and the PROOF Centre of Excellence, researchers are using genomic, proteomic, and computational tools to develop a test to diagnose organ rejection before or during the process, enabling physicians to intervene earlier and personalize a patient's immunosuppressant therapy.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease, Study Finds

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer, Study Finds

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study says.

Genetics Influences Levels of Depression Ties to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.