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Although Qiagen is prioritizing Rx/Dx partnerships with pharma, that doesn't mean it won't look into bringing tests to market with payors or on its own.

After missing the first-to-market opportunities with KRAS, both Merck KGaA and Amgen are strategically looking into additional gene markers, with the likely aim of being able to launch companion tests to their drugs that are more sensitive and accurate than the competition.

Parker, a principal scientist in Amgen's Molecular Sciences group, spoke with In Sequence about the role of next-generation sequencing in his work, and where he sees a place for emerging sequencing technologies at Amgen.

Decode is hoping to incorporate the recently discovered SNP on chromosome 4p16 into a multi-gene panel test for UBC, according to Decode's Kari Stefansson.

When Vectibix received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration in 2006, "Amgen already knew the response rate was low," according to an Amgen official. The company began collecting patient tissue samples from mid-2005 to early 2007, knowing it would "need those samples for a biomarker analysis."

"DxS is seeking to avoid its exclusive obligation with Roche because it no longer finds it advantageous to benefit from the Roche distribution network," but a termination of the agreement would cause "irreparable" harm, Roche stated in a recently filed complaint.

Most DTC genomic service providers use either custom or catalog chips made by the two West Coast vendors, though some vow to integrate next-gen sequencing into their services when cost and reliability issues improve.

DxS denies allegations in a lawsuit filed by Roche last week that the UK-based diagnostics company is trying to renege on a distribution agreement between the two firms for KRAS and EGFR mutations tests.

"Our data reinforce the importance of the KRAS mutation as a predictive biomarker for responsiveness to Vectibix therapy," said Roger Perlmutter, Amgen's executive vice president of research and development.

Decode is a longtime Illumina customer that has contributed content to several of its whole-genome genotyping chips. Some of its services, such as DecodeMe, have been offered on the Illumina BeadArray platform.

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The US National Institutes of Health's All of Us project awarded $4.6 million to the company Color to develop a genetic counseling resource for the program.

The Times of India reports on a pilot study that used genomic testing to determine whether patients had drug-resistant tuberculosis.

New guidelines say that more women may benefit from genetic testing for hereditary breast or ovarian cancer, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In Cell this week: small proteins identified among human microbiome, role for tumor microbes in pancreatic cancer survival, and more.