The company reported significant momentum in test volumes for the second quarter of this year as new publications shore up utility evidence and open new applications.
Thomas Halsey has joined Discovery Life Sciences as executive VP for genomics for the company's genomic sequencing and bioinformatics services division, HudsonAlpha Discovery. In his new role, he will plan and manage the global expansion of the firm's genomics testing capabilities to support clinical trial research and clinical validation of in vitro diagnostics for the development of targeted therapies and precision medicine. Most recently, he was senior director and global head of genomic laboratory operations at Q2 Solutions.
Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map
In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.
The assay detects mutations associated with the Alpha variant, and the team expects to make a Delta variant test publicly available within the week.
The European Union has backed the project, called Droplet-Small-Seq, with a €146,000 Horizon 2020 research grant.
The funding is for the firm's SARS-CoV-2, pan-coronavirus, and multiplex SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus tests, according to BARDA.
Biocept has appointed Linda Rubinstein and Antonino Morales to its board of directors, effective immediately. The company also named Samuel Riccitelli as chairman of the board, succeeding long-time chair David Hale and interim Chair Faye Wilson, both of whom remain directors.
Rubinstein has been a partner at FLG Partners, providing consulting services to life science and other companies such as Apexigen, ArmaGen, Five Prime, Kezar Life Sciences, Ingenuity Systems, iPierian, and True North. Previously, she was a Principal at RDJ Advisors, and served as vice president and CFO at Solexa. Morales is a CPA who has worked with leading organizations such as Citibank, Bank of America, Arthur Anderson, and Mazda North America. Morales was president and CEO of Apoyo Financiero, a California-based community developmen financial institution.
Riccitelli was appointed to Biocept's board in October 2020 and currently serves as an independent consultant to healthcare companies and as a director of OrthoPediatrics.
NuProbe has released VarTrace MSI qPCR, a research-use-only assay for detection of DNA microsatellite instability from tissue or blood specimens. According to the company, its technology is designed to help overcome challenges of MSI qPCR including the unpredictable biochemical and biophysical properties of homopolymers. The VarTrace MSI qPCR assay features a lower limit of detection of 1 percent variant allele frequency.
SpeeDx has launched a SARS-CoV-2 variant analysis assay for research use only. The PlexPrime SARS-CoV-2 Alpha/Beta/Gamma+ assay is a single-well multiplex test designed to detect mutations N501Y, S982A, and E484K in the spike gene of SARS-CoV-2. These mutations are found in the alpha (B.1.1.7), beta (B.1.351), and gamma (P.1) variants of concern. The test is compatible with standard qPCR instrumentation. It can potentially reduce the manual process of preparing positive samples for sequence analysis by identifying samples of interest, ultimately reducing turnaround and hands-on time, the company said. The firm also plans to launch a multiplex assay for mutations related to the delta variant, and is currently assessing other mutations.
The firm saw growth across both its life science and clinical diagnostics businesses due to gradual recovery from the pandemic and increased its guidance for 2021.
The American Society of Human Genetics has elected Brendan Lee as its 2022 president-elect. He is chairman of the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine.
In addition, ASHG has elected Yvonne Bombard, Wendy Chung, and Wendy Uhlmann to its board of directors. Their three-year term will begin on January 1, 2022. Bombard is a researcher at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital and an associate professor in the Institute of Health Policy and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Chung leads the Precision Medicine Resource in the Irving Institute at Columbia University. Uhlmann is a clinical professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and Human Genetics at the Unversity of Michigan.
Scott Gleason has joined OraSure Technologies as VP of investor relations and corporate communications. Previously, he was senior VP of investor relations and corporate strategy at Myriad Genetics, and before that, a senior publishing analyst at Stephens, covering the life science tools and diagnostics industry. Gleason holds a BS in economics from the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
The company's commercial test volume and test revenues were both up more than 200 percent compared to the same quarter last year.
The firm saw increases in SARS-CoV-2, clinical, and genomic testing and processed approximately 2.8 million COVID-19 PCR tests.
During its annual strategic planning, the firm identified its expanding base of MDx instruments as an essential driver of increasing revenues.