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In Brief This Week: SynapDx; Quidel; Med BioGene, Precision Therapeutics; CellHealth Institute

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – SynapDx this week said that it has received a "significant investment" from The Kraft Group that will support ongoing clinical development of its molecular diagnostic test for autism spectrum disorder. Lexington, Mass.-based SynapDx didn't disclose the amount of the funding from Kraft.

In December the company announced that it had brought in $6 million through a Series A1 financing round. It also recently received a $2 million investment from Laboratory Corporation of America.

Quidel this week announced that it has received the CE Mark for its Molecular Direct HSV 1+2/VZV assay for the differentiation and detection of herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2 and varicella-zoster virus in active lesions. The PCR-based kit joins Quidel's other CE Marked molecular tests for influenza A+B, hMPV, RSV + hMPV, and C. difficile.

Med BioGene said that its marketing partner, Precision Therapeutics, has decided to rebrand the firm's LungExpress Dx test as GeneFx Lung. Precision currently markets several tests through its CLIA lab under the Fx name, including ChemoFx, BioSpeciFx, and GeneFx Colon. Precision expects to begin commercialization of GeneFx by mid-year, Med BioGene said in an announcement Wednesday.

Biotech firm CellHealth Institute launched today with a $2 million investment from Liberty Media Chairman John Malone. The company plans to collaborate with research universities and industry to offer personalized health programs in combination with scientific biomarker evaluations, medical grade supplements, and "advanced treatment through stem cell therapies," it said.

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

The Scan

Sick Newborns Selected for WGS With Automated Pipeline

Researchers successfully prioritized infants with potential Mendelian conditions for whole-genome sequencing or rapid whole-genome sequencing, as they report in Genome Medicine.

Acne-Linked Loci Found Through GWAS Meta-Analysis

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics find new and known acne vulgaris risk loci with a genome-wide association study and meta-analysis, highlighting hair follicle- and metabolic disease-related genes.

Retina Cell Loss Reversed by Prime Editing in Mouse Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa

A team from China turns to prime editing to correct a retinitis pigmentosa-causing mutation in the PDE6b gene in a mouse model of the progressive photoreceptor loss condition in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

CRISPR Screens Reveal Heart Attack-Linked Gene

Researchers in PLOS Genetics have used CRISPR screens to home in on variants associated with coronary artery disease that affect vascular endothelial function.