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In Brief This Week: Trovagene; BG Medicine; Amoy Diagnostics; AITbiotech; Quest Diagnostics; Pressure BioSciences; Zellkraftwerk

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Trovagene said this week that it will collaborate with researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center on detecting transrenal BRAF mutations in the urine of patients with advanced or metastatic cancers. The researchers will use Trovagene's transrenal DNA detection technology to evaluate BRAF mutation status in urine compared to tissue biopsy. The partners previously collaborated on detecting transrenal KRAS mutations in the urine of patients with pancreatic cancer.


BG Medicine has received the CE Mark for the first automated version of its BGM Galectin-3 blood test for heart failure, which runs on BioMérieux's Vidas immunoassay platform. BG said that BioMérieux plans a phased launch of the test in Europe and in other territories that recognize the CE Mark.


Amoy Diagnostics said this week that it has obtained the CE Mark for its EML4-ALK Fusion Gene Detection Kit. The kit employs real-time PCR technology to detect the 21 EML4-ALK fusion transcripts. The EML4-ALK fusion oncogene is a molecular target in non-small-cell lung cancer, said Xiamen, China-based Amoy.


AITbiotech said this week that it has received CE-IVD Mark Certification for its abTES Flu 4-Plex and abTes MTB real-time PCR assays. The Singapore-based genomic services and molecular diagnostics firm said that it is in the process of seeking the CE-IVD Mark for several other abTES tests, including multiplex malaria and Dengue fever assays.


Quest Diagnostics said that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of the clinical outreach laboratory business of UMass Memorial Medical Center. It also noted this week that it has acquired UMass Memorial's anatomic pathology outreach lab business. Financial terms were not disclosed. The acquisitions will add around 50 new patient service centers to the firm's current roster of about 75 in Massachusetts.


Pressure BioSciences said that on Dec. 28 it entered into a Securities Purchase and Exchange Agreement with Clayton Struve, under which the firm will exchange 10,000 shares of a newly created series of preferred stock, designated Series H Convertible Preferred Stock, for 1,000,000 shares of the company's common stock held by Struve. It noted in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that Struve originally purchased the common stock from the firm for $.8025 per share. The closing price of the Pressure Bio's common stock on the date of the exchange was $.24.


Hannover, Germany-based Zellkraftwerk has announced the start of an early access program for its Chipcytometry technology for cellular biomarker discovery and bioanalysis. The firm said that Chipcytometry allows for sample storage and biomarker preservation for about 12 months and enables iterative re-analysis of the same sample with different marker sets for several times. Zellkraftwerk said that it will will work with academic institutions and biotech companies in specific disease areas on an exclusive basis to identify new drug targets and new efficacy and safety biomarkers using the technology.


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

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.