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New Product Watch: Feb 1, 2011

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Avantra Biosciences last week began shipment of its Q400 Biomarker Workstation and its new Angio Qx BioChip Immunoassay.

The Q400 system provides quantitative protein biomarker results for ten analytes in less than an hour, requiring less than five minutes for sample preparation. Multiplex protein assays can be helpful in evaluating the association between elevated protein levels, patient phenotype, and drug response, the company said.

The Angio Qx Immunoassay is a member of the Avantra QPDx biomarker detection product line for use with the Q400 Biomarker Workstation. This platform consists of a completely self-contained immunoassay biochip and instrument for use in the automated measurement of selected biomarkers.

Avantra said it is currently working with partners to develop additional biomarker panels directed at specific diseases with an emphasis in the field of oncology for research use only.


Akonni Biosystems this week began offering its TruSentry system to early-access customers. The platform is designed for the rapid identification of infectious microorganisms and drug-resistant variants.

TruSentry combines Tecan's Freedom Evo 200 liquid handling system with Akonni's TruTip technology for sample extraction and TruArray microarray platform for multiplexed screening. Akonni's platform enables users to extract pathogens from clinical samples such as blood, urine, and stool, and to develop and launch new and custom assays, as targets become known.

According to Akonni, TruSentry is capable of processing from eight to more than 3,000 samples per day. Initial applications for the system include tests for seasonal influenza viruses, common bio-security threat agents, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.


Agilent Technologies this week launched its BenchBot Robot, a mid-sized microplate handler designed to automate the workflow of laboratories. The robot includes a compact, scalable design to support a variety of laboratory devices and readers, along with VWorks software scheduling to maximize throughput. The system can be used for applications including microarray sample preparation, next-generation sequencing, and cell-based assays.


Exiqon last week launched the third generation of its Mircury LNA microRNA Labeling Kits for labeling of microRNAs for downstream hybridization to microRNA arrays.

The new microRNA labeling kits increase the signal intensity of the labeling up to two-fold, according to the firm. This enables users of teh company's array platform to use less total RNA sample in order to obtain the same level of microRNA profiling compared to using the previous labeling kits, Exiqon said.

The Scan

Quality Improvement Study Compares Molecular Tumor Boards, Central Consensus Recommendations

With 50 simulated cancer cases, researchers in JAMA Network Open compared molecular tumor board recommendations with central consensus plans at a dozen centers in Japan.

Lupus Heterogeneity Highlighted With Single-Cell Transcriptomes

Using single-cell RNA sequencing, researchers in Nature Communications tracked down immune and non-immune cell differences between discoid lupus erythematosus and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Rare Disease Clues Gleaned From Mobile Element Insertions in Exome Sequences

With an approach called MELT, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics uncovered mobile element insertions in exomes from 3,232 individuals with or without developmental or neurological abnormalities.

Team Tracks Down Potential Blood Plasma Markers Linked to Heart Failure in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Researchers in BMC Genomics found 10 differentially expressed proteins or metabolites that marked atrial fibrillation with heart failure cases.