CHI

Among Canon BioMedical's life science projects is a genetic testing platform based on ultra-fast serial PCR and high-resolution melt analysis.

Digital PCR has the potential to supplant quantitative real-time PCR as the assay technology of choice for certain applications, particularly the detection and absolute quantification of low-level DNA targets in oncology and HIV research, industry stakeholders and early users sai

The first version of the sequencer, about to enter beta-testing, will cost around $250,000 and will be able to generate several gigabases of data in a 5.5-hour run with $250 in consumables costs per gigabase. That price is expected to fall to as little as $2 with later generations.

The web-based CollabRx One program, which will charge cancer patients between $50,000 and $100,000 to generate genetically-targeted treatment options, compares 15,000 genes against tumor samples to gauge how they respond to as many as 5,000 drugs.

During the firm's earnings call last week, CEO Amit Kumar said that the company's diagnostics services performance would be most indicative of how CombiMatrix would perform going forward.

The company last month presented data showing that the test could be used to detect cancer, but more work is needed to refine the test so that it can distinguish between different types of malignancies.

The data presented last week at the Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference showed that the investigational test detected "dramatically different" miRNA expression patterns in the blood of cancer patients compared to those who were cancer-free.

The company has launched a new personal genomics service designed to provide cancer patients with information about specific treatment options that their physicians might otherwise overlook.

Linguamatics plans this year to continue building a customer base among large pharmaceutical firms, while Bioalma is eyeing the academic market to help drive growth in 2009.

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The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Kite Pharmaceuticals' CAR T-cell therapy for large B-cell lymphomas, the New York Times reports.

Kaiser Health News reports that gene therapies could cost more than a million dollars.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute researchers have received a grant to combine biology and computer science for high school students.

In Nature this week: variants associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder, review of key CRISPR enzymes, and more.