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Natera

During a conference call, company executives also discussed results from the SMART NIPT trial and their outlook for Natera's three businesses.

The company recently announced a deal with personalized ctDNA testing firm Natera and will now follow that with the launch of its own MRD product this year.

The company reported $112.4 million in revenues compared to $83.2 million in Q4 2019, beating the average Wall Street estimate of $106.6 million.

Under the non-exclusive deal, Natera will use matched tumor and normal exome sequencing data from Personalis to validate the design of its Signatera ctDNA assays.

The researchers hope that donor-derived cell-free DNA testing to monitor rejection can help relieve racial disparities in heart transplant outcomes.

Natera alleges Inivata infringes its US Patent Nos. 10,262,755 and 10,597,709, which cover cancer monitoring and molecular residual disease testing.

Last year, the company processed more than 1 million tests, most of them for its reproductive health business, but interest in Prospera and Signatera is growing. 

The company believes its tests can already help oncologists better assess post-surgery risk, though prospective validation would be necessary for broad claims.

Aetna's move comes at a time when a number of insurers including UnitedHealthcare have begun offering coverage of NIPT for average-risk pregnancies.

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Nature News writes that additional details about the UK plan for an agency to support high-risk, high-reward science are needed.

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized Johnson & Johnson's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

The Wall Street Journal writes new studies are giving glimpses into the origins of SARS-CoV-2.

In PLOS this week: analysis of Plasmodium population structure, qPCR assay to diagnose scabies, and more.