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Using mutation and gene expression patterns from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cell lines, scientists from Genentech and elsewhere have come up with a gene expression signature for predicting response to a CD40 stimulating therapy called dacetuzumab that's being developed to treat B cell cancers.

The research suggests that HDAC inhibitors may be more selective than previously thought, a finding that could help scientists more fully understand the biological pathways associated with the proteins and better identify potential epigenetic drug targets, said one of the researchers.

PCR Insider spoke with team member Christopher Gocke about the method, which improves the researchers' ability to detect chromosomal translocations and small insertion or deletion mutations characteristic of cancers such as follicular lymphoma and leukemia.

Insight is developing the tests using TaqMan probes on Life Technologies' ABI 7500 Fast Dx real-time PCR system to help physicians monitor cancer patients for mutations and upregulation in the ALK gene in order to make more effective treatment decisions.

With the assay, the Stanford researchers have begun examining protein phosphorylation levels in a variety of cancer types. The team has also entered into collaborations with several pharmaceutical firms to investigate the effects of therapeutic agents on protein phosphorylation levels in tumor cells.

Elaine Mardis presented preliminary data on the whole-genome sequencing of an AML relapse tumor at last week's Biology of Genomes meeting at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

This is the second vaccine-development partnership struck between Advaxis and City of Hope in as many years, further cementing an ongoing and mutually beneficial research partnership between the company and the cancer research center, according to an Advaxis executive.

LLS will select ten small molecule candidates deemed to have the best chance of quickly advancing to clinical trials from its portfolio of grant-funded academic research projects, and Forma will use its computational solvent mapping technology to ready the molecules for the clinic.

The plant is designed to accommodate Genentech's needs and those of its partner-turned-acquirer, Roche. The facility's packaging lines are now being validated, which is required for Genentech to begin making and shipping drugs.

The study suggests it is "unlikely" that patents protecting biomedical inventions "will ever be licensed" if they have remained unlicensed for more than eight years since their priority patent application was filed.

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Bloomberg Law writes that the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act may work better as a privacy, rather than anti-discrimination, law.

TechCrunch reports that Linda Avey has a new personal genomics startup that's focusing on India.

A new report finds that though the US has increased its activity in science and engineering, its global share of that activity has fallen in some areas, according to Inside Higher Ed.

In Nature this week: genomic analysis of rapeseed, universal target enrichment method for metagenomic sequencing, and more.