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Asuragen

Asuragen will develop assays for PacBio's long-read next-generation sequencing systems, with an initial focus on developing a carrier screening assay.

The test can help diagnose spinal muscular atrophy and identify carriers without symptoms who may be at risk of passing the disease to their children.

The firm's AmplideX Fragile X Dx and Carrier Screen Kit is intended to help diagnose fragile X syndrome and assess parental risk of having a child with the syndrome.

Asuragen will use its Amplidex PCR tech to develop companion diagnostics for Wave's investigational allele-selective therapeutic programs for Huntington's.

The disease is an inherited form of muscular dystrophy characterized by a repeat expansion of 50 CTG trinucleotides or greater in the DMPK gene.

The tests from Asuragen and MolecularMD are designed for use in chronic myeloid leukemia patients, including those receiving tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy.

Asuragen's technology will be used in the Early Check study to identify children with rare health conditions, such as fragile X syndrome, before symptoms appear.

The assay was shown to have a simpler workflow and was able to detect mosaicism, with only a slight decrease in sensitivity compared to a lab-developed test.

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Politico notes that the Biden Administration has not yet nominated a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner. 

Anthony Fauci also informed the World Health Organization executive board that the US would be joining the COVAX initiative, according to CNBC.

A new preprint suggests some SARS-CoV-2 variants could affect the effectiveness of current vaccines, the Associated Press reports.

In Nature this week: Australian lungfish provides details on the movement of vertebrate life from water to land, and more.