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DNA Direct

By Turna Ray

Canada's Center of Excellence in Personalized Medicine last week launched a personalized medicine portal developed in collaboration with DNA Direct.

By Monica Heger
One major hurdle in bringing next-generation sequencing into the clinic is how it will be received by payors and hospitals.

Express Scripts is the only one out of the big three PBMs that hasn't yet made an acquisition to directly support a personalized medicine focus. However, the firm has expressed an interest in applying PGx strategies to rein in healthcare costs, and acquiring Medco would bring it such capabilities.

Roche and Clovis Oncology to develop PCR-based companion IVD for EGFR mutations; Medco Health to offer MolecularMD's qRT-PCR test for BCR-ABL.

The Medco subsidiary signed up a couple of health plans and hospitals to use its personalized medicine services.

The trial plans to study whether it is cost-effective to use a genetic test and CT scans to identify smokers at risk of getting lung cancer.

In launching Precision Health Solutions, Medco will expand access to pharmacogenetic tests to all its customers.

Pharmacy-benefits manager Medco this week outlined some activities planned for the Medco Research Institute, which is spearheading the company's pharmacogenomics research efforts. Additionally, during the company's 2009 earnings call, officials discussed the acquisition of DNA Direct and the forthcoming release of results from a study looking at PGx-guided warfarin dosing.

Medco's decision to buy DNA Direct signals its intent to be a "one-stop shop" for payors and employers interested in using genetically guided medicine to make healthcare more efficient and lower costs.

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The Washington Post reports that Herbert Tabor, who worked at the US National Institutes of Health for 77 years, has died at 101.

The World Bank is seeking approval for a $12 billion plan to provide low-income nations with funds to procure SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, according to Reuters.

Science writes that public health officials and others are debating whether cycle threshold values should be included on SARS-CoV-2 results.

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: online database of SARS-CoV-2 protein structures, atlas of the human brain, and more.