BMBF

UK-based molecular diagnostics developer Lumora has partnered with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics to develop a rapid, high-throughput malaria diagnostic assay to screen patients in the developing world.

The Helmholtz Centre-led systems biology project will include public and private partners and will seek to study how the human immune system ages.

The device, which the scientists are developing under a two-year, €1.3 million grant from Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research, uses cytometric bead arrays to quantitate protein biomarkers in patients' exhaled breath condensate.

Magna is spearheading a public-private consortium to develop a point-of-care molecular testing platform based on magnetic nanoparticles and PCR amplification. Other partners in the consortium include the Fraunhofer Institute and Siemens.

The company will use part of the €1 million award to investigate biomarkers that will aid in determining which patients are the best candidates for treatment with its MOR202 antibody program, a company official said.

As part of the effort, MorphoSys will explore relevant biomarkers for the anti-CD38 approach in collaboration with the university hospital of Munich Technical University.

As part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium, the German project will focus on pediatric tumors, "given the portfolio of tumor types already studied as part of ICGC, the high mortality for some pediatric tumors, as well as the comprehensive expertise of German pediatric oncology in the therapy of pediatric tumors," according to the announcement.

Febit plans to debut the method at Cambridge Healthtech Institute's Next-Generation Sequencing conference in San Diego next month.

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While gene therapies may have high price tags, they could be cheaper than the cost of managing disease, according to MIT's Technology Review.

Researchers are looking for markers that indicate which cancer patients may respond to immunotherapies, the Associated Press writes.

In Nature this week: paternal age associated with de novo mutations in children, and more.

Nature News writes that researchers are still wrangling over the role of the p-value.