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Insight Genetics' Insight RET Screen

Insight Genetics has launched Insight RET Screen, a CLIA-validated assay that detects oncogenic RET (rearranged during transfection) expression in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Chromosomal fusions involving the RET tyrosine kinase gene are driver mutations in papillary thyroid cancer and in approximately 2 percent of lung cancers. In NSCLC, the most frequently observed fusion partner with the RET kinase domain is the KIF5B gene (62 percent) with a smaller fraction fused with the CCDC6 (16 percent) or NCOA4 genes (8 percent). The current standard in diagnostic assay drug-development partnerships has been to use RET fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to identify patients for clinical trial enrollment. Insight Genetics' solution provides results within 48 hours or less and with minimal tissue requirement. In a head-to-head comparison to a RET FISH assay, the Insight RET Screen identified 67 percent more patients who were RET fusion-positive. The Insight RET Screen complements the portfolio of assays currently offered by Insight Molecular Labs that detect targetable mutations including ALK, ROS1, EGFR, KRAS, and BRAF.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.