LifeCodexx

The planned test will be based on LifeCodexx's methylation-specific quantitative PCR technology.

The G-BA commissioned a contractor to prepare an evidence report by early 2018 and to gather information for patients by early 2019.

LifeCodexx's PrenaTest will be available to women in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, and elsewhere in the Middle East.

The company plans to launch the new qNIPT test, which uses methylation-specific quantitative PCR to detect fetal epigenetic biomarkers, in the near future.

The company's PrenaTest BioIT analysis software is now also cleared for use with a new methylation-specific qPCR assay for the detection of fetal trisomy 21.

Following this agreement, LifeCodexx's PrenaTest is now available in more than 40 countries throughout Europe and the Middle East. 

Last week, the G-BA, a committee that decides about reimbursable medical services in Germany, said it will start a methods evaluation of noninvasive prenatal testing.

The tech transfers are aided by LifeCodexx's PrenaBoxx NIPT data analysis solution, which runs locally and can analyze both NGS and qPCR data.

Several new laboratories started to offer NIPT locally in 2015, and some providers have been shifting to less-expensive non-NGS platforms. 

Prices in Germany for noninvasive prenatal testing have plummeted over the last year, driven by competition and process improvements.

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The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is investing in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's BioRxiv.

A study appearing in PLOS One finds that shortened consent forms don't affect clinical trial participants' understanding of the study.

The National Security Agency monitored signal intelligence for signs of "nefarious" genetic engineering projects, Gizmodo reports.

In Nature this week: barley genome sequenced, method for genotyping and phasing short tandem repeats, and more.