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Codex Synthetic DNA Products for COVID-19 Research; Dx/Vaccine Development

Apr 10, 2020

Codex has launched a number of newly developed products and services for COVID-19 research and diagnostic/vaccine development. The new products include:

  • SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic RNA controls: safe positive controls that replace the need for live virus in RT-PCR and NGS testing protocols
  • SARS-CoV-2 antigen panels and antibody libraries: allow for rapid design and iteration of antigens or antibody libraries for the development of vaccines and therapeutics using the company's BioXp 3200 gene automated synthesis platform.
  • SARS-CoV-2 spike protein DNA vaccine construct, mRNA vaccine scaffold, and live attenuated vaccine scaffold for vaccine development
  • SARS-CoV-2 synthetic DNA parts: span the whole genome and useful for developing DNA, RNA, and viral vector vaccines and pan-genome diagnostics
  • SARS-CoV-2 full-length synthetic genome: the Wuhan-Hu-1 strain of SARS-CoV-2 cloned in a bacterial artificial chromosome for the development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

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Oct 01, 2020

Discovery Life Sciences SpecimenSeq

Discovery Life Sciences has launched SpecimenSeq, a collection of high-quality, fully consented biospecimens to help researchers identify, develop, and validate new biomarker signatures for precision medicine applications.

SpecimenSeq is composed of matched biospecimen sets including FFPE, double-spun plasma, and buffy coat formats from treatment-naive cancer patients. The biospecimens are fully annotated with clinical data and the FFPE biospecimens specifically include clinically relevant genomic variants from 64 genes. Genomic data for SpecimenSeq are produced using the custom HAD QGEN MultiModal Panel-based DNA and RNA analysis service available exclusively through Discovery's sequencing and bioinformatics laboratory, HudsonAlpha Discovery. This panel service uses Qiagen's QIAseq MultiModal targeted DNA and RNA sequencing chemistry and analysis platform that is also available as a standalone service through HudsonAlpha Discovery with variant allele frequency detection at less than 5 percent.

Oct 01, 2020

LGC Seracare Seraseq Oncology Reference Controls

LGC Seracare has added four new products to its somatic cancer reference control portfolio. The Seraseq MSI Reference Panel Mix AF5% and AF20% are the company's first microsatellite instability reference materials that target the lengths of the regions commonly referred to as BAT-25, BAT-26, NR-21, NR-24, and MONO-27. These markers are blended at two different allele frequency levels (5 percent and 20 percent) to support MSI assay limit of detection determinations and accurate analysis of MSI status of patient samples.

The Seraseq NTRK Fusion RNA Mix is a 15-plex RNA mix of NTRK fusion genes that are important in next-generation sequencing assay evaluation of cancer patients harboring NTRK fusions for therapeutic intervention. This new product complements LGC Seracare's existing 15-plex FFPE NTRK reference material.

The Seraseq Compromised FFPE WT (DNA/RNA) RM is a more "patient-like (compromised)" negative sample control in FFPE format. A single FFPE section offers both RNA and DNA for targeted NGS assay validation and/or routine use in clinical testing. This product is complementary to the recently released Seraseq TNA WT (DNA/RNA) as well as mutation-positive Seraseq DNA and RNA reference materials, the company said.

All products are available in purified and FFPE formats, the company said.

Oct 01, 2020

OriCiro Genomics Cell-Free Cloning System

OriCiro Genomics has launched its Cell-Free Cloning System, the world's first technology enabling cell-free amplification of large circular DNA, eliminating the reliance on Escherichia coli cloning. Thes ystem comprises the OriCiro Assembly Kit and OriCiro Amp Kit. A simple two-step in vitro process enables cell-free assembly and amplification of circular DNA molecules without the need for E. coli transformation and culture, the company said.

Oct 01, 2020

PCR Biosystems: NGSBIO Library Quant Kit

PCR Biosystems has launched the NGSBio Library Quant kit for Illumina next-generation sequencing platforms.

The kit enables accurate and sensitive quantification of DNA libraries and generates more clustering data per run. The kit contains five DNA standards, primers specific to the P5 and P7 Illumina adapter sequences, a library dilution buffer, and qPCRBio SyGreen Mix or qPCRBio SyGreen Blue mix. The blue qPCR mix contains a non-reactive dye to improve reaction mix visibility.

Accompanying the kit is a free online calculator to help researchers analyze results with the kit.

Sep 29, 2020

Igenomix Embrace

Igenomix has launched Embrace, a non-invasive test for prioritizing embryo transfer. Embrace scores embryos according to their probability of being healthy and viable based on chromosomal information.  Rather than removing cells from a developing embryo through biopsy, Embrace enables scientists at Igenomix to use next-generation sequencing to test the drop of the culture medium in which a six-day-old embryo, or blastocyst, has developed to count the chromosome number of the embryonic cell-free DNA. A score is then given to determine the probability of the embryo being healthy and viable, the company said. According to the company the test will enable embryonic chromosome analysis to be accessible to a larger number of in vitro fertilization centers and patients, as it simplifies the process and increases chances of IVF success. Igenomix said that it is offering Embrace to the 400 US fertility centers it currently works with.

Sep 25, 2020

Seven Bridges RHEO Visual Interface for Multi-Omic Analysis

Seven Bridges has introduced the RHEO Visual Interface workflow automation tool for multi-omic analysis. RHEO can completely auto-generate a visual interface from a developer's automation script, and complements the existing command line interface for automations releases by the company last year. The interface minimizes the time and effort required to set up and run data-analysis workflows for biologists, particularly those who work with experimental data but do not have extensive training in workflow automation, Seven Bridges said. Additional benefits include installation-free use, automatic authentication, instant collaboration, comprehensive audit logs, versioning and 100 percent reproducibility, all within a secure and compliant cloud environment, the company added.

Sep 24, 2020

LabCorp Resolution ctDx Lung Assay

LabCorp has launched the Resolution ctDx Lung assay for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The test will be run by Resolution Biosciences and detects actionable mutations associated with the disease in a standard blood sample. The firm said the test can provide valuable information to help select the most effective targeted treatments for individual patients. In addition, LabCorp noted that the test is covered by Medicare. 

Sep 23, 2020

CRISPR QC and Cardea Bio CRISPR-BIND

CRISPR quality control testing firm CRISPR QC and Cardea Bio have launched CRISPR-BIND, a rapid and highly sensitive tool to characterize guide RNA and CRISPR-Cas interactions. CRISPR-BIND is the first product in a suite of quality control capabilities, and is built on Cardea's biology-gated transistors and an automated, high-throughput liquid handler to generate highly sensitive electronic signals that allow for rapid assessments of gRNA-Cas interactions directly at the bench. This includes, but is not limited to, monitoring the interactions and stability of a variety of modified gRNAs with engineered Cas enzymes.

CRISPR QC will commercialize CRISPR-BIND in the US in partnership with COBO Technologies, which will offer the product in Europe, the firms said. CRISPR QC is Cardea's first commercial partner and CRISPR-BIND is the first of a series of CRISPR QC applications that they expect to come out of the partnership.

Sep 23, 2020

Congenica COVID-19 Module

Congenica has added a COVID-19 module to its genomic analysis platform. The company said that the new add-on will support research into relationships between a patient's genome and COVID-19 infection risk, severity, and clinical outcomes. The module also helps researchers prioritize variants in curated genes based on Human Phenotype Ontology terms that suggest COVID-19 symptoms.  

Sep 23, 2020

Exagen Avise Vasculitis AAV

Exagen launched the Avise Vasculitis AAV test panel of individual analytes to assess and monitor anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis. ANCA-associated vasculitis is characterized by vascular inflammation and damage, and early symptoms of the disease vary widely. Exagen's test is intended for use in patients suspected of small vessel diseases, such as granulomatosis with polyangiitis, microscopic polyangiitis, and eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis. 

Sep 22, 2020

Bio-Techne RNA-Protein Co-Detection Assays

Bio-Techne has expanded its Advanced Cell Diagnostics-branded RNAscope technology with the release of RNA-Protein Co-Detection Assays. RNAscope technology is an advanced in situ hybridization assay that enables visualization of single-molecule gene expression with single-cell resolution directly in intact cells and tissues. The codetection assays allow researchers to simultaneously examine gene expression specific to cell types and identify cellular sources of secreted proteins. The new workflow enables a wider range of IHC-validated antibodies to be combined with RNA ISH.

Sep 18, 2020

Bio-Rad Laboratories StarBright Violet 515 Dye for Flow Cytometry

Bio-Rad Laboratories has launched the StarBright Violet 515 (SBV515) dye, the first of a new range of fluorescent nanoparticles for flow cytometry. SBV515 has an excitation maximum at 401 nanometers and emission maximum of 516 nanometers, offering improved brightness to better resolve rare and low antigen density populations. It has a narrow emission profile to reduce spillover into neighboring filters and minimize excitation by other lasers, making it suitable for inclusion in multicolor panels. The dye is not susceptible to photobleaching, delivers high lot-to-lot reproducibility, and is stable at 4° C with no loss of signal, Bio-Rad said.

Sep 18, 2020

Akoya Biosciences Proxima Spatial Biology Platform

Akoya Biosciences this week launched the Proxima Spatial Biology Platform to integrate rapid image acquisition and secure data sharing in the cloud. The new software is designed to allow users to visualize and analyze whole-slide, multiplexed immunofluorescence images generated by Akoya's Phenoptics platform, and will soon be expanded to visualize and analyze ultra-high-plex images generated by Akoya's CODEX platform, enabling an integrated, flexible, and scalable solution from discovery to translational and clinical research, the company said.

Sep 18, 2020

RenalytixAI: KidneyIntelX

RenalytixAI has announced the commercial launch of its KidneyIntelX clinical testing platform, which provides risk assessment of progressive decline in kidney function or kidney failure in patients with early-stage diabetic kidney disease. KidneyIntelX applies machine-learning algorithms to assess predictive blood-based biomarkers and electronic health record data to identify progressive kidney disease in at-risk patients. 

The firm submitted a 510(k) application to the US Food and Drug Administration for the assay last month. 

Sep 17, 2020

Sanford Burnham Prebys Coronascape Bioinformatics Platform

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute has introduced Coronascape, a specialized version of its Metascape bioinformatics platform designed for big-data analysis of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research. The La Jolla, California-based research institute said that Coronascape is meant to serve as a multiomics data clearinghouse for efforts to develop effective targets and therapies for the novel coronavirus. SBP developed the web-based Metascape portal in partnership with the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation and the University of California, San Diego.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute will be requiring its researchers to publish their work so it is immediately accessible to the public, ScienceInsider writes.

The Huffington Post reports that Francis Collins, the director of the US National Institutes of Health, has urged Americans to recommit to reason.

About 150 million rapid coronavirus tests purchased by the US federal government are to be distributed to nursing homes, colleges, and the states, according to the New York Times.

In Nature this week: multi-omic analysis of Alzheimer's disease brain samples, de novo assembly of a diploid potato, and more.