Merck KGaA

The companies are aiming to identify treatment-response biomarker signatures in patients with advanced melanoma.

The company said its proxy-CRISPR tool can facilitate precise gene editing and eliminates the need for genetic engineering of naturally occurring CRISPR proteins.

The moves underscore a growing belief in industry and academia that the cell-derived vesicles could be the biomarker of choice for next-generation tests and therapies.

The Merck KGaA subsidiary is launching the research-use only SMCxPRO later this year for protein detection using sandwich ELISAs paired with proprietary optical readout.

The company signed separate agreements with AstraZeneca, Merck, Merck KGaA, and Pfizer to create the panel, which is expected to help speed drug development.

The agreement now includes distribution of Roche's Kapa Biosystems portfolio in all geographies except the US, Brazil, and Japan.

Evotec will use Merck's collection of genetic reagents — including viral CRISPR and shRNA libraries — in target discovery programs.

The companies will initially focus on developing a companion diagnostic for Merck's investigational B cell lymphoma drug M7583.

The test, which will be based on AmoyDx's proprietary real-time PCR technology, will identify cancer-associated mutations in the RAS gene family.

The firms will set up sites for OncoBEAM RAS CRC in Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India, and present data at major medical conferences.

Pages

The president of France's National Research Agency has resigned, according to Nature News.

A senator wants a "right-to-try" provision in the US Food and Drug Administration funding bill, but an ethicist says at Stat News that it would undermine the role of clinical trials.

In PNAS this week: red algae Porphyra umbicalis genome, deep neural network model for sequencing peptides, and more.

The Guardian's Barbara Ellen has tried out some DNA testing services to see whether they provide valuable information.