Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Roche to Use Oncimmune Infectious Disease Panel in COVID-19 Drug Trial

NEW YORK – Oncimmune Holdings on Tuesday announced a contract with Roche Pharmaceuticals to utilize its infectious disease panel in a COVID-19 pneumonia drug trial.

The trial, called COVACTA, will evaluate the drug Actemra (tocilizumab) in patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Under the new contract, Roche will use the Oncimmune SeroTag panel on all patient samples to look for immune signals of response, non-response, and adverse events, with the option to extend to IgA and IgM antibody profiling, according to a statement.

Phase 3 results for the COVACTA trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine in February showed tocilizumab did not lead to improved clinical status or lower mortality in patients with severe COVID-19. The study noted however that effective treatments and meaningful outcomes for clinical trials are likely to differ for different stages of disease and that future trials should be more narrowly focused.

Oncimmune also said on Tuesday that it will expand a previous contract and provide its panel to Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles for antibody profiling in COVID-19 samples as biomarkers of disease. 

The SeroTag panel is tailored to predict COVID-19 disease severity and therapeutic response as well as effectiveness of vaccines and other therapeutics. It is the primary discovery engine for Oncimmune's NavigAID disease-specific stratification panels, the firm said.

The Scan

Sick Newborns Selected for WGS With Automated Pipeline

Researchers successfully prioritized infants with potential Mendelian conditions for whole-genome sequencing or rapid whole-genome sequencing, as they report in Genome Medicine.

Acne-Linked Loci Found Through GWAS Meta-Analysis

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics find new and known acne vulgaris risk loci with a genome-wide association study and meta-analysis, highlighting hair follicle- and metabolic disease-related genes.

Retina Cell Loss Reversed by Prime Editing in Mouse Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa

A team from China turns to prime editing to correct a retinitis pigmentosa-causing mutation in the PDE6b gene in a mouse model of the progressive photoreceptor loss condition in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

CRISPR Screens Reveal Heart Attack-Linked Gene

Researchers in PLOS Genetics have used CRISPR screens to home in on variants associated with coronary artery disease that affect vascular endothelial function.