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Product Watch: Oct 20, 2010


Linkage Biosciences this week launched several new products in its LinkSeq HLA line to provide additional tools for clinical transplantation, pharmaceutical research, and immunogenetics R&D.

Linkage's new products include tests for HLA-DQ, HLA-B5701, and a genetic marker for celiac disease. The company said that LinkSeq's chemistry offers a streamlined workflow that provides an advantage over current molecular HLA typing methods: Instead of relying on a PCR amplification step followed by either gel electrophoresis or probe detection, LinkSeq combines PCR and fluorescence detection into one step, followed by SureTyper software analysis.

The company said that it is also targeting its HLA typing tests at the companion diagnostics market. For example, "B5701 testing is required to screen HIV patients to avoid an adverse reaction with the anti-HIV drug abacavir," Linkage CEO Zachary Antovich said in a statement. Likewise, the B5701 marker is associated with liver injury caused by the antibiotic flucloxicillin; and an HLA-DQ marker is associated with a higher risk of adverse reactions in patients taking Novartis' osteoarthritis drug lumiracoxib, Antovich said.

New England Biolabs has launched the EpiMark 5-hmC and 5-mC analysis kits to simplify DNA methylation analysis for epigenetics researchers, the company said last week.

The EpiMark kits are a robust method for identifying and detecting 5-hmC and 5-mC within a specific locus, NEB said. They include a family of methylation-dependent restriction enzymes (MspJI, FspEI, and LpnPI), which excise 32-basepair fragments from whole genomes. These fragments contain centrally located hydroxymethylated or methylated residues, and can be subsequently extracted and sequenced, NEB said. This method is less harsh than bisulfate conversion, is suitable for whole methylome analysis, is compatible with existing analysis techniques and is amenable to high throughput, the company added.

The Scan

Vaccine Update Recommended

A US Food and Drug Administration panel recommends booster vaccines be updated to target Omicron, CNBC reports.

US to Make More Vaccines for Monkeypox Available

The US is to make nearly 300,000 vaccine doses available in the coming weeks to stem the spread of human monkeypox virus, according to NPR.

Sentence Appealed

The Associated Press reports that Swedish prosecutors are appealing the sentence given to a surgeon once lauded for transplanting synthetic tracheas but then convicted of causing bodily harm.

Genome Biology Papers on COVID-19 Effector Genes, Virtual ChIP-seq, scDART

In Genome Biology this week: proposed COVID-19 effector genes, method to predict transcription factor binding patterns, and more.