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May 29, 2020

Qiagen QCI Interpret One Software; QiaSeq Pan-Cancer Multimodal Panel; and QiaSeq Targeted Methyl Panel

Qiagen launched multiple new products for genomic variation analysis in connection with the virtual 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.

Qiagen's new QCI Interpret One software joins the company's Qiagen Clinical Insights portfolio, and provides variant- and disease-specific evidence for every variant in any somatic panel, backing each classification with the latest peer-reviewed publications, oncologist-reviewed interpretation summaries, and "expert second opinions," the company said. The new product combines the former N-f-One interpretation summaries with Qiagen's QCI Interpret structured variant interpretation database, the company noted.

Meanwhile, the new QiaSeq Pan-cancer Multimodal panel enables the consolidation of two separate next-generation sequencing-based DNA and RNA variant profiling workflows into one. It also enables scalable and parallel integration of up to thousands of targets in one enrichment step in a single tube, Qiagen said. Ideal for comprehensive genomic profiling and biomarker discovery, this 1.44-Mb panel consists of more than 600 target genes and fusions involved in the onset, progression, and treatment response across different cancer types, as well as microsatellite instability markers. Qiagen said the panel has a one-day turnaround time.

Finally, the new QiaSeq Targeted Methyl panels provide NGS-based targeted methylation analysis with a one-day turnaround time using the company's proprietary single primer extension technology. Qiagen offers predesigned panels for breast and colorectal cancer, as well as rapid, online custom design capabilities to create tailored panels for customer-specific applications. The company expects to launch immuno-oncology and T-cell infiltration applications later in 2020.

May 29, 2020

Mission Bio Tapestri Designer Extended Applications

Mission Bio has released extended capabilities for its Tapestri Designer automated, cloud-based tool for designing targeted single-cell DNA custom panels. The tool now includes applications for mouse genomes and CRISPR editing, reducing design time for custom panels from weeks to just minutes to help accelerate cell and gene therapy, the company said. 

With the new CRISPR applications, researchers can measure zygosity, co-occurrence of multiple edits including on- and off-target events, and rare cell populations, providing the information necessary to optimize editing systems and use them safely. As part of the mouse genome compatibility feature, mouse single-cell custom DNA panels are now available. Mission Bio also said its design experts are on hand to support customers with unique and novel custom panel needs for single-cell DNA or multi-omics panels. 

May 28, 2020

Analytik Jena Biometra TRobot II and qTOWER³ Auto Thermal Cyclers

Jena, Germany-based life science firm Analytik Jena has introduced two new thermal cyclers. The Biometra TRobot II is a small footprint PCR module that can be used to save space in a robotic setup, while the qTOWER³ Auto is a qPCR thermal cycler useful for fully automated qPCR applications.

May 28, 2020

Swift Biosciences Normalase Amplicon Panel SARS-CoV-2 Kit

Swift Biosciences has released a new sample preparation kit for low viral titer SARS-CoV-2 specimens.

The Swift Normalase Amplicon Panel SARS-CoV-2 kit targets the full coronavirus genome in a single-tube reaction. The two-round PCR workflow takes as little as two hours and produces multiplexed, sequencing-ready libraries. The kit is intended for use in research or pathogen surveillance.

May 27, 2020

Thermo Fisher Scientific Orbitrap Exploris Mass Spectrometers, Proteome Discoverer 2.5 Software, Xcalibur 4.4 Software

Thermo Fisher Scientific has released the Thermo Scientific Orbitrap Exploris 240 and 120 mass spectrometers. The Exploris 240 is designed for researchers working in proteomics, metabolomics, biopharmaceutical characterization, and small-molecule analysis. It promises discovery and identification with increased accuracy and offers operational simplicity and streamlined time-to-result. The system delivers mass accuracy, sensitivity, and resolving power across a wide dynamic range. It offers positive/negative-mode switching for comprehensive sample coverage and fast scan speeds.

The Exploris 120 offers internal calibration for consistent data quality and decision making. It features fast scanning modes and rapid polarity switching for comprehensive sample coverage and increased productivity.

In addition, the company launched the Thermo Scientific Proteome Discoverer 2.5 software for higher-confidence peptide identification, more accurate quantification, and higher-throughput data analysis of proteomics data. It uses deep learning to more accurately predict fragmentation mass spectra, facilitated by a Prosit-derived neural network licensed from bioinformatics firm and collaborator MSAID. It also provides more confident results in applications that require large search spaces, such as human leukocyte antigen (HLA) or metaproteomic analyses. In addition, the new release includes an enrichment service that helps provide biological meaning for differential analyses and support of targeted workflows. It also has tools to help deploy Thermo Scientific SureQuant Targeted Mass Spectrometry Assay Kits and custom SureQuant IS-triggered acquisition assays in new proteomics labs.

The company also launched the Thermo Scientific Xcalibur 4.4 software, which brings the AcquireX intelligent data acquisition workflow to Thermo Scientific Orbitrap Exploris mass spec platform users. It enables the fully automated collection of high-quality MS/MS data on components of interest in a sample and reduces manual input and the need for repeat runs.

May 22, 2020

Genedata Imagence 2.0

Genedata has released Genedata Imagence 2.0, the latest version of its enterprise software high-content screening image analysis. The new version offers full end-to-end automation, reducing the time spent on image analysis by an order of magnitude. It enables the analysis of complex phenotypic assay formats without extensive expert input, and the transfer of gained knowledge to new experimental setups. It has also been further optimized for use of distributed computing resources. In particular, the parallelization of image analysis steps results in massive time and cost savings, the company said. Similar to other components of the Genedata Biopharma Platform, the new software can be deployed using on-demand cloud computing service providers like Amazon Web Services.

May 20, 2020

10x Genomics Targeted Gene Expression Solution

10x Genomics has launched its Targeted Gene Expression Solution for single-cell sequencing.

The firm is offering kits for predesigned gene panels relevant to cancer, immunology, neuroscience, and drug targeting applications, with the option for customization.

May 19, 2020

Aalto Bio Reagents Recombinant SARS-CoV-2 Spike Proteins

Dublin-based Aalto Bio Reagents has released a range of recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) proteins for diagnostic test manufacturers, vaccine developers, and researchers globally. The S protein is the main antigenic component that is responsible for inducing host immune responses and neutralizing antibodies, making it the principal focus of therapeutic and vaccine design for COVID-19. When used solely or in combination with Aalto's new insect-derived nucleocapsid protein (N), the company's S1-S2 chimeric glycoprotein has demonstrated excellent reactivity in ELISA for the detection of IgA, IgG and IgM antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the company said.

May 19, 2020

Thermo Fisher Scientific Invitrogen RiboMinus Bacteria 2.0 Transcriptome Isolation Kit

Thermo Fisher Scientific has released the Invitrogen RiboMinus Bacteria 2.0 Transcriptome Isolation Kit for the probe-based depletion of ribosomal RNA from bacteria. The kit, which can be automated on Thermo Fisher KingFisher instruments, uses a novel magnetic bead-based purification technology to selectively deplete rRNA transcripts from total RNA. It now includes 5S targets and more than 100 probe designs to yield improved rRNA depletion and can be utilized with RNA from a wide variety of species.

May 19, 2020

Oxford Immunotec T-Spot Discovery SARS-CoV-2 RUO Kit

Oxford Immunotec Global has launched the T-Spot Discovery SARS-CoV-2 test kit for research use only. The kit builds on its experience with tuberculosis diagnosis and the assessment of the immune response to cytomegalovirus infections in transplant patients. Using the company's established T-Spot technology, the kit interrogates the immune system's T-cell response and will enable research into the measurement of the strength of that response to SARS-CoV-2, Oxford Immunotec said.

May 14, 2020

EnGenome eVai Variant Interpretation/Genomenon Mastermind Genomic Search Engine

Genomenon's Mastermind Genomic Search Engine has been integrated into the eVai Variant Interpretation platform from EnGenome, Genomenon said. eVai users can now preview the number of published articles related to their search and easily link out to view the evidence in Mastermind. By combining artificial intelligence with ACMG-AMP guidelines, eVai classifies and prioritizes every genomic variant for pathogenicity, suggesting all possible related genetic diagnoses. Mastermind has indexed more than 7.5 million full-text articles and 1.5 million supplemental data sets, and covers more than 6.1 million variants found in the medical literature.

May 14, 2020

Biocept Target Selector BRAF RUO Kits

Biocept has launched a Target Selector research-use-only molecular assay for the detection of BRAF mutations in both formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples and blood samples. The kits use the company's Switch-Blocker technology to enrich the specimen for mutations of interest, resulting in ultra-high assay sensitivity and specificity. Biocept said that in general, its Target Selector kits can detect mutations of interest in circulating tumor DNA at a level of one mutant copy in 10,000 wildtype molecules. The assays can be used with a variety of analytical platforms including qPCR, Sanger sequencing, next generation sequencing, microarrays, and mass spectrometry. The new BRAF kit complements the company's previously launched EGFR mutation-detection assay.

May 13, 2020

ZeptoMetrix NATSARS(CoV-2) Quality Controls

ZeptoMetrix has launched its ready-to-use NATSARS(CoV-2) molecular quality controls, including its NATtrol SARS-CoV-2 Positive Control and NATtrol SARS-CoV-2 Negative Control. The firm said the tools are formulated with purified intact viral particles chemically modified to render them non-infectious and refrigerator stable. ZeptoMetrix said the products will provide laboratories external run controls to help establish the reliability of COVID-19 testing.

May 12, 2020

Beckman Coulter Life Sciences RNAdvance Viral XP

Beckman Coulter Life Sciences announced the launch of its new RNA extraction kit, RNAdvance Viral XP. The kit is validated for use in infectious disease and real-time PCR virus research and is intended for use in high-throughput settings to extract viral RNA from swab samples, the firm said. After it has been extracted, the RNA is used in qRT-PCR kits to determine whether the virus is present. Danaher subsidiary Beckman Coulter worked with next-generation sequencing company iRepertoire to develop the kit's method, which iRepertoire then independently validated. 

May 12, 2020

Roche KAPA Target Enrichment Portfolio

Roche launched its new KAPA Target Enrichment product portfolio, which includes both exome and custom target enrichment solutions for sequencing. The KAPA HyperExome is a whole-exome research panel with improved performance compared to the existing SeqCap portfolio that targets the GRCh38/hg38 geome assembly. Roche's HyperDesign tool allows for the creation of custom target enrichment designs using the KAPA HyperChoice probes. The target enrichment portfolio will increase sequencing efficiency, the company said. The new probes will replace the SeqCap product portfolio, which is expected to be discontinued in the first quarter of 2022. 

May 11, 2020

LGC SARS-CoV-2 Verification Panel and Reference Materials; Charité ValuPanel Assay Reagents

LGC Seracare has launched new versions of its AccuPlex Verification Panel and Reference Material Kit for SARS-CoV-2 testing. The previous versions contained negative control material targeting the human RNase P gene and positive control material for the viral ORF1a, RdRp, E, and N gene consensus sequences targeted in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization assays. They have now been expanded to include the S gene region of the virus. 

In addition, LGC Biosearch Technologies has launched new assays in its ValuPanel line. The Charité 2019-nCoV BHQ and BBQ-650 ValuPanel Reagent sets use oligonucleotide sequencedesigned by the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) at Charité. The firm also now offers US CDC 2019-nCoV BHQ ValuPanel Reagents sets, and continues to offer the 2019-nCoV CDC-qualified Probe and Primer Kits for SARS-CoV-2.

May 08, 2020

Samplix Xdrop Services

Danish company Samplix has launched a comprehensive service program granting laboratories access to its Xdrop technology for complex genomic research including gap closing, sequencing of repeat elements, viral insertion site detection, revealing unintended CRISPR edits, and more. Xdrop enriches genomic regions longer than 100 kb from as little as 1 ng of human genomic DNA and with single-molecule resolution. It requires knowledge of only a short sequence within or flanking the target region for efficient target selection. Following targeted selection, multiple displacement amplification is applied to single DNA molecules compartmentalized in droplets. This ensures unbiased amplification of large DNA fragments that are representative of the target variation in the original sample. The output is ready for any short-read or long-read sequencing platform, the company said.

May 07, 2020

Sartorius Incucyte SX5

Sartorius has launched its Incucyte SX5 Live-Cell Analysis system. The firm said that the tool applies novel optics, a new line of paired reagents, and purpose-built software to help researchers draw greater insights from live cell experiments. The Incucyte system has five different fluorescence channels, of which Sartorius said up to three can be used at once. Because the optical module uses long wavelength near infrared fluorescence, researchers will be able to image sensitive cell types on the platform up to months without requiring to be removed from the incubator. 

May 06, 2020

Thermo Fisher Scientific Ion AmpliSeq SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel

Thermo Fisher Scientific has launched the Ion AmpliSeq SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel. It consists of two pools with amplicons 125 to 275 base pairs in length that cover more than 99 percent of the viral genome, and requires as little as 1 ng of total RNA input. The panel runs on the Ion GeneStudio S5 sequencer and was recently optimized to also run on the Ion Torrent Genexus system.

May 05, 2020

Saama, Indx.AI COVID-19 Command Center

Clinical analytics firm Saama Technologies and multiomics data integrator Indx.AI have launched COVID-19 Command Center, a cloud-based platform to help life sciences companies accelerate R&D on potential therapies and vaccines for COVID-19. The product is meant to allow trial sponsors working on in-house clinical development to manage studies with the same technology offered by the recently established EndPandemic National Data Consortium, which Saama launched and of which Indx.AI is a founding member.

May 04, 2020

Swift Biosciences SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel

Swift Biosciences has released a research-use targeted sequencing panel for SARS-CoV-2. The amplicon-based multiplex panel targets the full 30 kb viral genome in a single tube, two-hour workflow with two rounds of PCR. More than three hundred primer pairs help increase sensitivity and specificity due to the higher probability of amplifying limited quantities of viral template material, as does the ability to use sequencing to confirm that reads are mappable to SARS-CoV-2 instead of similar coronaviruses or pathogens, the company said. Swift's workflow also adds sequencing adapters directly without the need for a secondary library construction.

May 01, 2020

Cartana In Situ Sequencing Reagent Kits

Cartana has launched a new range of in situ sequencing reagent kits designed to increase the efficiency and enable ISS on virtually any tissue sample. The new kits contain improved probing and sequencing technologies and come with easy-to-follow protocols for library preparation and sequencing. The HS Library Preparation Kit is used to probe directly up to 600 RNA targets in either fresh/fixed frozen or FFPE samples without the need for cDNA synthesis, and generates barcoded in situ sequencing libraries with higher efficiency compared to a previous cDNA-based library preparation approach, initially published in 2013, Cartana said. Furthermore, the new ISS kit sequences the barcodes in the libraries directly in situ, with enhanced signal-to-noise ratio and specificity compared to the previous state-of-the-art ISS technology. The new kit contains six sequencing cycles and decodes up to 600 barcodes using a standard fluorescent microscope.

May 01, 2020

Microbiologics SARS-CoV-2 RNA Process Control

Microbiologics has launched two new research-use-only products for COVID-19 research and quality control: a protein-coated RNA process control and an IVD control with pooled gene targets.

The new SARS-CoV-2 control features diagnostically relevant RNA sequences protected by phage protein, providing nuclease resistance even in nuclease-rich environments such as nasal secretions or plasma. This coating protects the RNA during the extraction process, preventing the false negatives that can occur with the use of naked RNA. The protein coating functions like the virus's protective envelope that sequesters and protects its RNA genome. Featuring genomic targets for all seven WHO COVID-19 testing protocols, this process control can be used for SARS-CoV-2 assay development, positive extraction, and spike-in controls.

The new SARS-CoV-2 Helix Elite control features a pool of large RNA molecules that match the viral sequences for the RdRp gene, S gene, E gene, and N gene. These pooled genetic targets offer broad compatibility with CDC- and WHO-specified test components to generate positive PCR signals.

Apr 29, 2020

ProteoGenix Human Immune COVID-19 Library

ProteoGenix has launched a Human Immune COVID-19 Library to facilitate the discovery of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Created using blood samples from dozens of recovered COVID-19 patients, the library is adapted for screening with phage display and features 1.2 x 1010 different clones. The phage display screening technology coupled with the library's diversity is expected to speed the discovery of antibodies with the strongest affinity, specificity, and viral blocking activity, the company said. ProteoGenix said that it also offers a broad diversity of ready-made SARS-CoV-2 antigens, as well as custom antigen development services. Within eight weeks, clients can receive three to 10 unique and royalty-free antibody sequences with optimal affinity.

Apr 29, 2020

Horizon Discovery FFPE, Liquid Biopsy OncoSpan Reference Standards

Horizon Discovery has added two new sample formats to its cell-based OncoSpan reference standards for use in the development and validation of workflows for cancer diagnostic assays. The company's OncoSpan range now includes formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded and cell-free DNA formats for mimicking solid tumors and liquid biopsy samples, respectively, in addition to its genomic DNA format. Its cfDNA format offers more than 380 variants and 152 genes to help standardize liquid biopsy testing.

These cell line-derived reference standards closely mimic patient samples and offer an unlimited and reproducible resource to help ensure consistency during the establishment and validation of diagnostic assays, Horizon said. All three formats are delivered with batch-specific, next-generation sequencing data, orthogonally validated by droplet digital PCR, to allow researchers to further validate their analysis pipeline.

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Nature News reports that recent proposed changes to the US National Science Foundation have raised concerns about a shift away from the agency's focus on basic research.

Noel Rose, the "father of autoimmunity," has died at 92, the Washington Post reports.

According to CNN, Legionella was discovered in buildings leased by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as they reopened following coronavirus pandemic-related closures.

In PLOS this week: genetic analysis of malaria parasite populations in Southeast Asia, genomic surveillance of yellow fever virus in São Paulo, and more.