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Movers & Shakers: Apr 8, 2011

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Richard Bender

Stanford's study describing a method for gauging rejection in organ transplant recipients was the most read story during the past week.

In recent interviews, J&J officials spoke about ongoing work to further develop its technology for circulating tumor cells to include characterization capabilities, and its new center of excellence for companion diagnostics to leverage partnerships with other diagnostic firms.

Under the deal, which follows on a previous collaboration between the companies entered in 2008, Kinaxo will apply its quantitative phosphoproteomics platform PhosphoScout to assist in drug development.

The company said it will use the money, which is an extension of a $26.5 million Series B round completed in May 2010, to advance and expand research, development, and validation of protein biomarker-based laboratory tests.

Janssen becomes the third assay content provider for Biocartis' integrated "sample-to-answer" nucleic acid testing platform as the company drives toward a full commercial launch in the second half of 2012.

Janssen and J&J's Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics group have worldwide exclusive rights to develop and commercialize assays on the Biocartis platform in the fields of neurological disease and certain viral infectious diseases.

The agreement calls for Kinaxo to provide quantitative analyses of PTMs on a proteome-wide scale with the expectation that "such comprehensive analysis will gain valuable insights into cellular functions of potential drug targets," the company said in a statement.

While the use of sequencing in disease research for both Mendelian and complex diseases continued to advance during the year, 2010 also saw the launch of several sequencing-based diagnostic tests, as well as pharmaceutical companies entering the sequencing field and the first examples of sequencing being used to make decisions on patient treatment.

The partners will develop a bench-top platform to isolate and explore the biology of rare cells at the protein, RNA, and DNA levels.

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Russia's announcement of a coronavirus vaccine approval was met with concern as safety testing has not yet been completed.

New Scientist writes there aren't much data available on the accuracy of the two rapid COVID-19 tests the UK plans to roll out.

In PNAS this week: downstream effect of oncoprotein fusion, epigenetic changes influence tRNAs in colon cancer, and more.

Nature News reports that recent proposed changes to the US National Science Foundation have raised concerns about a shift away from the agency's focus on basic research.