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Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with ALK rearrangements are treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), which often leads to prolonged overall survival. However, treatment resistance will almost inevitably occur, and the disease remains incurable.

The presentation will discuss a recent study addressing the longitudinal genotyping of circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) from patients with ALK rearrangements by combining panel-based deep sequencing with shallow whole-genome sequencing.

The results suggest that this liquid biopsy approach might be able to improve the care of ALK-mutated NSCLC patients through early detection of resistance mutations and indications of disease progression.

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This webinar will discuss how high-definition spatial proteomics, enabled by Multiplexed Ion Beam Imaging (MIBI), can be used to explore the immune microenvironment of tumor biopsy samples, illustrated by a case study at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is participating in the Human Tumor Atlas Network, a collaborative project funded by the National Cancer Institute that is constructing three-dimensional atlases of the cellular, morphological, molecular features of human cancers over time. 

In this webinar, Scott Rodig of Harvard Medical School will provide an overview of Dana-Farber’s involvement in the Human Tumor Atlas Network and Kyle Wright of Brigham and Women’s Hospital will share a case study, along with validation methods and repeatability metrics. 

The webinar will discuss the role of high-definition spatial proteomics for single-cell phenotype mapping and will review data analysis methods used to generate actionable insights from highly multiplexed, spatial proteomic data. 

Speakers will also share plans for tumor analysis at Dana Farber and the potential future impact of high-definition spatial proteomics for cancer therapeutics.

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August 24, 2020
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Utility of Novel RNA-Based Tools in Oncology Drug Development


This webinar, Part 1 of the “Advances in RNA-based Biomarker Development for Precision Oncology” webinar series sponsored by GeneCentric Therapeutics, will discuss how gene expression signatures can accelerate (and rehabilitate) drug programs, define targeted patient populations, expand drug indications, and improve clinical success.

Speakers will detail a range of topics, including how expression-based subtyping can eclipse DNA targeted panel technologies in determining patient’s likely response to treatment; the use of clinical subtypes and custom response signatures to select the right therapy for the right patient to improve treatment responses; and the identification of new tumor types for therapies.

Joel Parker of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will discuss the identification of diverse molecular phenotypes with RNA-seq, focusing on expressed mutations, immune phenotypes, and viral detection and quantification.

Kirk Beebe of GeneCentric Therapeutics will follow with a presentation outlining the use of RNA-seq for bolstering drug development programs by circumventing mutational status and deciphering the functional expression of tumors. In particular, he will discuss how bulk tumor sequencing offers the ability to simultaneously assess diverse members of the tumor microenvironment such as cancer and immune cells and will share details of how this approach has been applied in both targeted and immunotherapies.

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This webinar will present a case study from in vitro diagnostics developer SpeeDx on its experience building a complete sample-to-result workflow — encompassing instrumentation and data analysis software — for its qPCR-based ResistancePlus MG Mycoplasma genitalium assay.

Data analysis software has become an integral component of in vitro diagnostic assays in general, and molecular diagnostic tests in particular. The ability to provide a software solution for end users that accurately reports results, identifies technical issues, and can be integrated with a laboratory’s information systems can be as important in the final decision about whether to adopt a given platform as analytical and clinical performance data.

Another important consideration for molecular diagnostic development is the decision whether to develop a novel instrument or to leverage a third-party open platform. Considerations not only include size or price, but also the global installed base, available service plans, options for instrument placement and reagent rental. These choices impact capital efficiency, time to commercialization, and accelerated adoption of the assay in the market. 

SpeeDx is a developer of innovative multiplexed molecular diagnostic assays that employ a novel PCR technology (PlexZyme). Although the assay chemistry is flexible and instrument agnostic, the company needed a customizable software application that could take unique data feeds from different instruments and turn them into accurate reportable results with minimal involvement from end users.

This presentation will discuss the partnership between SpeeDx and Ugentec to produce an integrated data analysis solution for SpeeDx customers running the assay on the Applied Biosystems 7500 Fast Dx Real-Time PCR Instrument , covering the key elements of the Ugentec software. 

After the main presentation, UgenTec will briefly discuss its FastFinder software platform that allows labs and assay providers to build sample-to-result workflows and Thermo Fisher Scientific will briefly introduce its instrumentation, reagent, and services portfolio for assay development. The presentations will be followed by an interactive Q&A session with attendees.

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As worldwide COVID-19 cases continue to rise, there is a significant need to increase testing and population surveillance capacity. Traditionally such efforts have relied solely on clinical testing of individual patients. But recent reports demonstrate that a proportion of the individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, shed viral RNA into feces providing the opportunity to surveil wastewater to monitor the presence and trends of SARS-CoV-2 infection within a community. This practice, known as wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE), has been previously used to monitor public health status for a number of viruses including poliovirus, norovirus, hepatitis A, hepatitis E, and aichi virus.  Importantly, initial studies indicate that SARS-CoV-2 RNA shedding in feces is agnostic to symptom severity, which indicates WBE could provide less biased public health monitoring than clinical testing alone. 

In this webinar, Aaron Bivins of the University of Notre Dame will describe methods for direct-adsorption extraction and Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR) for the sensitive and reproducible quantification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in primary influent samples from two municipalities.  

Raul Gonzalez of Hampton Roads Sanitation District will provide insights on a 20-week study demonstrating that wastewater SARS-CoV-2 concentrations have steadily risen ahead of clinically confirmed cases and propose several ways that data can be presented to be of greatest use to public health officials. 

Together they will highlight the utility of wastewater-based epidemiology to detect and track SARS-CoV-2 infection within a community using Droplet Digital PCR. 

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This webinar will discuss a study that combined single-cell gene expression and spatial gene expression to understand the evolution of sepsis in the kidney at the cellular and molecular level.

Understanding the pathophysiology of acute kidney injury is crucial for the comprehensive treatment of sepsis and its complications, but the exact cellular and molecular contributors to this multifaceted response remain unknown. Furthermore, the kidney is a highly complex organ, in which epithelial, endothelial, immune, and stromal cells are at constant interplay.  

In this webinar, Dr. Takashi Hato of Indiana University will describe a project that used both Chromium single-cell gene expression and Visium spatial gene expression solutions to provide a detailed and precise view of the evolution of sepsis in the kidney, as well as identify potential SARS-CoV-2 entry points.

Dr. Takashi Hato will discuss details of the study and its findings, including:

  • Comprehensive spatial and temporal transcriptomic profiling of the kidney in a murine sepsis model, extending from early injury well into the recovery phase 
  • Identification and localization of known and novel renal cell populations in the kidney microenvironment, including regional expression of essential components of the SARS-CoV-2 entry mechanism
  • Key changes identified in gene expression that altered cellular functions and explain features of clinical sepsis
  • How this rigorous spatial and temporal definition of murine sepsis will uncover precise biomarkers and targets that can help stage and treat human sepsis
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August 13, 2020
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Oxford Nanopore Sequencing for COVID-19 Monitoring

Partner Webinar

Sequencing of a virus can characterize it and help public health workers understand its identity, mutations and transmission. Oxford Nanopore sequencers have been used for rapid, in-field sequencing of outbreaks such as Ebola and Zika. In this presentation we explore how Oxford Nanopore sequencers, with GPU-accelerated analysis software, are being used to monitor and study the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Research Microbiologist-Team Lead
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA

Sr. Director of R&D, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Establishing and evaluating proper controls are critical to the success and accuracy of any diagnostic assay. Successful controls increase confidence in a diagnosis by verifying that every step in the diagnostic process is working properly and providing reliable information. The testing volume and supply shortages incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic have stressed all aspects of respiratory disease diagnosis, heightening the importance of internal and external controls.

Dr. John R. Barnes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will give a  presentation focusing on developing and validating internal and external controls for nucleic-acid based tests for infectious respiratory disease, using the new CDC Influenza SARS-CoV2 Multiplex Assay as an example. The possible effects of shortages and processing changes on diagnosis and the importance of evaluating controls during the COVID-19 pandemic are also discussed.

Tony Prestigiacomo, Sr. Director of R&D at Thermo Fisher Scientific, will then talk about the importance of quality control in serological testing for infectious disease.

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“If we build it, they will come” is a familiar refrain that echoes in life science entrepreneurial circles. Too frequently startups believe that if a technology is built it will sell. But the chasm that exists between a great technology and an executable go-to-market strategy is large. This webinar will break down the steps to build a branding and marketing approach needed to precede a new product rollout in the life science marketplace.

Will Gould, President and CSO of Brand Buddha, will break down the process of message development, audience segmentation, and how to target the right person, with the right message, in the right place, at the right time. Deb Franko, Principal of boutique healthcare marketing communications agency Karmic Health Communications, will provide insight into how to raise consumer awareness and drive patient adoption of new oncology solutions.

Together they will discuss how to develop a go-to-market strategy mapping all touchpoints from pre-awareness through to completed sale.

In this webinar you will learn:

  • How to find your audience and potential clients
  • How to develop branding and messaging that will resonate with your audience
  • How to put that message in front of your audience and the right time and in the right place
  • How to graduate your audience from pre-awareness to converted client
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This webinar will discuss a study that set to assess the efficacy and safety of osimertinib in EGFR T790M positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients identified by using plasma sample and cobas EGFR Mutation test v2. This is the first prospective study to use liquid biopsy upfront to evaluate osimertinib efficacy.

Takayuki Takahama of Kindai Nara University Hospital will share details of the study, which enrolled 276 patients with advanced or recurrent NSCLC with known TKI-sensitizing mutations of EGFR, had documented disease progression after treatment with at least 1 first- or second-generation EGFR TKI, and were positive for the T790M mutation in plasma.

Dr. Takahama will discuss the results, which demonstrate the utility of liquid biopsy for the detection of T790M with the cobas EGFR Mutation Test v2. Plasma genotyping with this assay is informative for treatment selection in clinical practice when tumor sampling is not feasible. 

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This webinar is the second in a three part series that will provide an overview of how cutting-edge genomic technologies based on next-generation sequencing (NGS) are streamlining in vitro fertilization research workflows*. 

Luis A. Alcaraz, cofounder of Bioarray and Journey Genomics, accredited diagnostic and research labs based in Alicante, Spain, will review how his teams use advanced genomic techniques for carrier screening research as well as for preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) in embryos for both aneuploidies (PGT-A) and monogenic disorders (PGT-M).

These technologies deliver greater efficiency to Bioarray and Journey Genomics, allowing faster delivery of meaningful results and reports for geneticists and researchers, which in turn is increasing their customer outcomes. 

In this webinar you will learn:

  • How to study PGT-A and PGT-M with NGS  
  • How expanded carrier screening with NGS screens for 420 genes in a single assay
  • How new molecular techniques are improving workflows at Bioarray and Journey Genomics

*For research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

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Join this webinar to learn how spatial resolution of gene expression in tumor tissue reveals new insights in biomarker discovery and therapeutic response

Digital spatial profiling of immuno-oncology targets in the tumor, microenvironment, and immune compartments of archival formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections is coupled to downstream next-generation sequencing (NGS) readout. Our speakers will discuss how the NGS readout enables high-throughput and high-plex spatial analysis.

Our first speaker, Margaret Hoang, Senior Scientist, NanoString Technologies will provide a high level overview of the GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiler (DSP), which delivers quantitative high plex, multi-analyte spatial profiling using NGS readout.

Maija Kiuru of the University of California, Davis, will share details of a study that used NanoString’s GeoMx Cancer Transcriptome Atlas to reveal microenvironment-specific expression of a novel cell-type specific biomarker, DAMP, in response to early melanoma development. This marker may allow for more sensitive detection of melanoma via patch biopsy. 

William Hwang of the Broad Institute will then discuss how his team used GeoMx Cancer Transcriptome Atlas and Whole Transcriptome Atlas applications to profile tumor, fibroblast, and immune compartments in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) samples from twelve patients. Differential gene expression was measured in tumor and fibroblast compartments between treatment groups and by levels of immune infiltration.

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Partner Webinar

Associate Director Project Management OEM at QIAGEN 

The Regulation of the European Union with regards to the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) , adopted to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by industrial use of chemicals, is relevant to QIAGEN and its OEM partners. Octylphenol ethoxylates (OPE), such as Triton X-100, and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE) are detergents widely used in molecular biology. They were included in the European Authorisation list (Annex XIV). Therefore their use by manufactures and end-users will be highly regulated inside the EU in the near future. QIAGENs ongoing efforts in strengthening relationships with third parties in the OEM business include the compliance with existing and upcoming regulations from various authorities. In this Webinar, the implications of the REACH Regulation especially for OEM partners will be reviewed along with OEM by QIAGEN’s strategy and ongoing activities to assure future supply and compliance.

About the speaker: Dr. Frank Narz is Associate Director Project Management OEM at QIAGEN in Hilden. He works at the interface between OEM partners and QIAGEN internal stakeholders to implement new products and support existing cooperations. Dr. Narz joined QIAGEN in 2000 and has since held various positions in Research and Development in areas like RNA purification, cell biology or assay technologies and is since 2019 a member of the OEM by QIAGEN team. After studying biology, he received his Ph.D. from the Institute of Molecular Neurobiochemistry at the Faculty for Chemistry (University of Bochum, Germany) in 1999. He also completed postgraduate studies in Nanobiotechnology at the University Kaiserslautern in Germany.

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July 15, 2020
Sponsored by
LGC SeraCare Life Sciences

Diagnostic Challenges in Cancer Immunotherapy: An Expert Panel Discussion


Chief Scientific Officer, Foundation Medicine

Global Head of Medical Affairs,
Clinical NGS and Oncology Division, Thermo Fisher Scientific

President & Chief Technology Officer,  Genosity

Vice President, Assay Development, Illumina

Chief Scientific Officer, LGC SeraCare Life Sciences

Cancer immunotherapy is an exciting new advance for the successful treatment of many forms of metastatic cancer. However, only a minority of patients with terminal cancer have durable response with approved immuno-oncology treatments.

This on-demand webinar features a panel of experts in the field who provide key insights into the current advances in cancer diagnostics and immunotherapy, as well as challenges facing the discipline.

The panelists bring a wealth of expertise and differing viewpoints in clinical laboratory practice, cancer research, translational sciences, and immuno-oncology diagnostics and therapeutics at the molecular and cellular levels important to the care and management of cancer patients and treatment outcomes. Each speaker will have an opportunity to share their perspectives on this topic, which will be moderated by Dr. Russell Garlick, Chief Scientific Officer at LGC SeraCare. The presentation will be followed by a live Q&A to allow attendees to address the experts directly.

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This webinar will describe a rapid metagenomics assay under development for human pathogens, including the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

The assay under development at the University of Pennsylvania is based on a microarray platform of 8 arrays by 60,000 probes and detects all known viruses and other pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and parasites, covering more than 6,000 accessions of microorganisms associated with diseases.

The array-based technology can accurately detect an agent of interest, including SARS-CoV-2, in less than 24 hours. The assay includes probes covering all known pathogenic respiratory pathogens, including other coronaviruses from bats and other mammals, providing accurate and efficient detection of SARS-CoV-2 as well as the potential for detection of other respiratory pathogens as co-infecting agents that may contribute to severity of disease. 

Dr. Erle Robertson of the University of Pennsylvania will describe the benefits of the test, which include high accuracy due to the use of multiple probes across the genome, which minimizes negative results from probe failure due to the compensatory signals from other probes in the assay screen. 

Dr. Robertson will discuss his team’s plans to develop the assay to require only a few drops of blood or plasma for detection of the virus.    

Disclaimer: Agilent products are NOT approved for COVID-19 testing, diagnosis, treatment, or mitigation. Agilent has not validated a product to detect the novel coronavirus.

For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

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The FDA and CDC call for a pause in administering Johnson & Johnson's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine while reports of rare blood clots are looked into, reports the Wall Street Journal.

According to the Associated Press, a Swiss program aims to shepherd long-term science projects and diplomacy.

CNN reports that two new studies suggest the B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 variant may be more transmissible, but may not lead to more severe disease.

In PNAS this week: analysis of pathway affecting acute kidney injury, parental-specific allelic expression in horse placenta, and more.

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