Baboon Genomes Offer Clues to the Past and Future of Humanity

February 7, 2019 | 78 views

“Once upon a time, in a cave in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia, different types of ancient peoples were having sex,” I wrote last year in “The Cave Where It Happened: The Daughter of a Neanderthal Mom and a Denisovan Dad.” That long-ago admixture, plus other episodes, is why some of us have echoes of Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes in our DNA today. It’s why some people learn from consumer genetic testing that 4% of their ancestors were Neanderthal. 

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Health Current

Arizona Health-e Connection Is Now Health Current Powering the future of healthcare with more complete information. Health Current is the health information exchange (HIE) that helps partners transform care by bringing together communities and information across Arizona. More complete information is more meaningful and leads to better care and better outcomes. It makes healthcare transformation possible. That’s why we’ve worked for more than ten years to become Arizona’s primary resource for information technology and exchange, integrating information with the delivery of care to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. As we’ve grown, our core goal has remained the same: help providers use information technology to improve people’s lives.

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MEDICAL

Top 10 biotech IPOs in 2019

Article | August 16, 2022

The big question at the start of 2019 was whether the IPO window would stay open for biotech companies, particularly those seeking to pull off ever-larger IPOs at increasingly earlier stages of development. The short answer is yes—kind of. Here’s the long answer: In the words of Renaissance Capital, the IPO market had “a mostly good year.” The total number of deals fell to 159 from 192 the year before, but technology and healthcare companies were standout performers. The latter—which include biotech, medtech and diagnostics companies—led the pack, making up 43% of all IPOs in 2019. By Renaissance’s count, seven companies went public at valuations exceeding $1 billion, up from five the year before

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MEDTECH

Cell Out? Lysate-Based Expression an Option for Personalized Meds

Article | July 13, 2022

Cell-free expression (CFE) is the practice of making a protein without using a living cell. In contrast with cell line-based methods, production is achieved using a fluid containing biological components extracted from a cell, i.e., a lysate. CFE offers potential advantages for biopharma according to Philip Probert, PhD, a senior scientist at the Centre for Process Innovation in the U.K.

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MEDTECH

Closing bacterial genomes from the human gut microbiome using long-read sequencing

Article | July 11, 2022

In our lab, we focus on the impact of the gut microbiome on human health and disease. To evaluate this relationship, it’s important to understand the particular functions that different bacteria have. As bacteria are able to exchange, duplicate, and rearrange their genes in ways that directly affect their phenotypes, complete bacterial genomes assembled directly from human samples are essential to understand the strain variation and potential functions of the bacteria we host. Advances in the microbiome space have allowed for the de novo assembly of microbial genomes directly from metagenomes via short-read sequencing, assembly of reads into contigs, and binning of contigs into putative genome drafts. This is advantageous because it allows us to discover microbes without culturing them, directly from human samples and without reference databases. In the past year, there have been a number of tour de force efforts to broadly characterize the human gut microbiota through the creation of such metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs)[1–4]. These works have produced hundreds of thousands of microbial genomes that vastly increase our understanding of the human gut. However, challenges in the assembly of short reads has limited our ability to correctly assemble repeated genomic elements and place them into genomic context. Thus, existing MAGs are often fragmented and do not include mobile genetic elements, 16S rRNA sequences, and other elements that are repeated or have high identity within and across bacterial genomes.

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Selexis Cell Line Development Strategies

Article | February 11, 2020

In today’s biotechnology landscape, to be competitive, meet regulations, and achieve market demands, “we must apply Bioprocessing 4.0,” said Igor Fisch, PhD, CEO, Selexis. In fact, in the last decade, “Selexis has evolved from cloning by limiting dilution to automated cell selection to nanofluidic chips and from monoclonality assessment by statistical calculation to proprietary bioinformatic analysis,” he added. Single-use processing systems are an expanding part of the biomanufacturing world; as such, they are a major component of Bioprocessing 4.0. “At Selexis, we use single use throughout our cell line development workflow. Currently, we have incorporated single-use automated bioprocessing systems such as ambr® and the Beacon® optofluidic platform for accelerated cell line development. By using these systems and optimizing our parameters, we were able to achieve high titers in shake flasks. Additionally, the Beacon systems integrate miniaturized cell culture with high-throughput liquid handling automation and cell imaging. This allows us to control, adjust, and monitor programs at the same time,” noted Fisch.

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Spotlight

Health Current

Arizona Health-e Connection Is Now Health Current Powering the future of healthcare with more complete information. Health Current is the health information exchange (HIE) that helps partners transform care by bringing together communities and information across Arizona. More complete information is more meaningful and leads to better care and better outcomes. It makes healthcare transformation possible. That’s why we’ve worked for more than ten years to become Arizona’s primary resource for information technology and exchange, integrating information with the delivery of care to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. As we’ve grown, our core goal has remained the same: help providers use information technology to improve people’s lives.

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DIAGNOSTICS

PhenomeX Launches Beacon Quest™ Optofluidic System with Opto® T Cell Profiling Workflows

PRNewswire | June 06, 2023

PhenomeX Inc. the functional cell biology company, announced the launch of the Beacon Quest™ optofluidic system, with Opto® T Cell Profiling workflows for immunotherapy translational research and a platform price under $1 million USD, less than half of the higher-throughput Beacon system, enabling broader accessibility to the cutting-edge technology critical for next-generation precision medicine. The Opto T Cell Profiling workflows have enabled scientists to comprehensively profile single T cells to correlate polyfunctionality with cytotoxicity and recover those same cells for downstream analysis such as transcriptome and genome sequencing, revealing functional connections of phenotype with molecular mechanism. This depth of understanding of biology and response to therapeutics is not available on any other platform. Combined with the value-matched Beacon Quest system, more academic, non-profit, and government customers can now access the power of optofluidic and NanoPen® chamber technology and propriety single T Cell Profiling applications along with the optimum level of features to meet their research and budgetary needs. "At PhenomeX, we are excited to launch the Beacon Quest, as it supports our objective of offering scientists and researchers globally the ability to affordably access the main applications of the Beacon system, including antibody discovery, cell line development and single-cell functional multiomic T-cell profiling," said Siddhartha Kadia, Ph.D., chief executive officer of PhenomeX. "We look forward to partnering with and providing significant value in the academic research segments, particularly in immuno-oncology translational cancer centers and innovative cell and gene therapy development centers." Beacon Quest for T Cell Profiling Workflow Features Opto T Cell Profiling workflows on the Beacon Quest system enable multi-functional characterization of single T cells, including for development of efficacious immunotherapies and cell-based cancer therapeutics, that are ideally suited for academic, non-profit, and government customers. The Beacon Quest system enables a variety of assays to profile single T cells including detection of cytokine secretion, cytotoxicity, cell surface markers, transcriptome profiling and TCRSeq, with the potential to study growth characteristics and cell motility. The resulting analysis is used to identify cells with phenotypes of interest and guide recovery of the same cells for downstream assays, enabling researchers to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying biology by Investigating molecular mechanisms associated with polyfunctional T cells; Identifying desirable phenomes by correlating polyfunctionality with cytotoxicity; and Linking desirable phenotypes to T cell receptor sequences of the same cells. In addition to supporting the Opto T Cell Profiling workflows, Beacon Quest will enable customers to access the Opto B Discovery workflows and Opto Cell Line Development workflows. To further increase customer accessibility and affordability, PhenomeX will also offer reduced priced OptoSelect® chips (OptoSelect® Research chips) for Beacon Quest, helping academic customers accelerate the pace of scientific discovery for clinical research use applications. About PhenomeX Inc. PhenomeX is empowering scientists to leverage the full potential of each cell and drive the next era of functional cell biology that will advance human health. We enable scientists to reveal the most complete insights on cell function and obtain a full view of the behavior of each cell. Our unique suite of proven high-throughput tools and services offer unparalleled resolution and speed, accelerating the insights that are key to advancing discoveries that can profoundly improve the prevention and treatment of disease. Our award-winning platforms are used by researchers across the globe, including those at the top 15 global pharmaceutical companies and approximately 85% of leading U.S. comprehensive cancer centers.

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MEDICAL

Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc. launches new multiplex digital PCR assay for comprehensive quantification of up to 5 different CAR-T transgenes

PRNewswire | June 02, 2023

During this year's AAPS National biotechnology conference, Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc., a Novartis subsidiary and a leading provider of innovative biomarker solutions for drug development, announced the launch of its new multiplex digital PCR assays for comprehensive quantification of multiple chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, a type of cancer immunotherapy that involves genetically modifying T cells to recognize and destroy certain cancers. These assays are based on the Qiagen QIAcuity digital PCR System, which offers a powerful yet easy-to-use digital PCR experience through its unique nanoplate system. The new multiplex digital PCR assay enables simultaneous measurement of the number, function and persistence of CAR-T cells in clinical blood and bone marrow samples, without the need for a standard curve. It can detect as low as 0.01% of CAR-T cells among normal T cells, with a turnaround time of less than two hours. These assays can measure up to five different CAR-T cell markers in a single reaction, using specific probes for different CAR targets, to quantitate multiple CAR-domains, or combinations of commonly used therapeutic targets for CAR-T therapies. The assay can help clinicians monitor response or safety events during clinical trials to enable the development of new therapies. "CAR-T therapy is a promising and innovative approach to treat cancer, but it requires accurate and reliable quantification of CAR-T cells for successful drug development," said Dr. Nathan Riccitelli, Associate Director of Innovative Technologies at Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc. "Our new proprietary multiplex digital PCR assay provides a comprehensive and robust solution for measuring CAR-T cells in clinical samples with high sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility." Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc. has developed this assay for use in sponsors-led clinical trials. If interested, contact them about how this assay can be used in upcoming clinical trial studies. Navigate Biopharma Services, Inc. Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc., an independently operating subsidiary within the Novartis group of companies, is a leading provider of innovative biomarker and specialty bioanalytic solutions for clinical development. Over the past decade, Navigate BioPharma has built and developed its exclusive library of assays, methodologies, and biomarker solutions. Their extensive expertise offers unique, accurate, reliable, and cost-effective solutions for its customers and partners.

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MEDTECH, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Mission Bio Launches Tapestri v3 to Rapidly Accelerate Rare Cell Detection Applications for Translational Research and Precision Therapeutics

PRNewswire | June 01, 2023

Mission Bio, Inc., the pioneer in high-throughput single-cell DNA and multi-omics analysis, announced breakthrough improvements to the Tapestri® Platform and its core chemistry that enable highly confident detection of rare cells for a range of applications. With Tapestri® v3 chemistry, researchers can discover tiny numbers of single cells that, until now, easily escaped detection and influenced disease in invisible ways. At the same time, drug developers can use the new capabilities for a more complete understanding of their advanced therapies, potentially leading to safer, more effective medicines. The new Tapestri® v3 chemistry increases the number of cells captured per sample by up to four times compared to the prior chemistry, a notable enhancement. With enhanced cell capture, the Tapestri® Platform can more reliably detect rare cells, opening incredible new possibilities like improving the assessment of measurable residual disease (MRD), a key metric used increasingly in clinical settings to estimate the risk of relapse with certain cancers. In the case of MRD in hematological cancers, rare subclonal variants are commonly missed by bulk NGS due to its averaging effect, hindering the detection of relapse-driving clones that potentially offer new therapeutic targets. With Tapestri®'s expanded capabilities, new integrated multi-omics tools like the Tapestri® scMRD Assay for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) will offer clinicians additional therapeutic insights, rather than providing a binary 'yes or no' answer to the presence of residual disease. A team of investigators from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) using the assay has reported a high sensitivity of 0.01% limit of detection in data presented at Mission Bio's Tapestri® scMRD for AML Summit last year. Tapestri®'s new capabilities also hold promise for cell and gene therapy developers looking to improve quality assessment throughout the therapy development process. Powered by Tapestri® v3 chemistry, the increase in cell throughput means Tapestri® Genome Editing Solution can measure gene editing outcomes at single-cell resolution – even for very low-frequency events like translocations, which can have significant effects on the safety of the therapy. Tapestri® v3 is the latest example of Mission Bio's continued focus on customer-centric product and service development. The company has recently implemented additional quality control measurements including design and development, release, and documentation processes compliant with the ISO 9001 standard. "Our customers' success is at the forefront of our mind," said Adam Abate, PhD, Co-founder and Interim Chief Executive Officer of Mission Bio. "Researchers and drug developers are demanding ever-greater sensitivity and highly robust products to effectively progress their research or advanced therapeutic program, and we are committed to serving our customers and helping them achieve their goals." The new v3 reagents will be available for shipping starting in mid-June. About Mission Bio Mission Bio is a life sciences company that accelerates discoveries and cures for a wide range of diseases by equipping researchers with the tools they need to better measure and predict our resistance and response to new therapies. Mission Bio's multi-omics approach improves time-to-market for new therapeutics, including innovative cell and gene therapies that provide new pathways to health. Founded in 2014, Mission Bio has secured investment from Novo Growth, Cota Capital, Agilent Technologies, Mayfield Fund, and others.

Read More

DIAGNOSTICS

PhenomeX Launches Beacon Quest™ Optofluidic System with Opto® T Cell Profiling Workflows

PRNewswire | June 06, 2023

PhenomeX Inc. the functional cell biology company, announced the launch of the Beacon Quest™ optofluidic system, with Opto® T Cell Profiling workflows for immunotherapy translational research and a platform price under $1 million USD, less than half of the higher-throughput Beacon system, enabling broader accessibility to the cutting-edge technology critical for next-generation precision medicine. The Opto T Cell Profiling workflows have enabled scientists to comprehensively profile single T cells to correlate polyfunctionality with cytotoxicity and recover those same cells for downstream analysis such as transcriptome and genome sequencing, revealing functional connections of phenotype with molecular mechanism. This depth of understanding of biology and response to therapeutics is not available on any other platform. Combined with the value-matched Beacon Quest system, more academic, non-profit, and government customers can now access the power of optofluidic and NanoPen® chamber technology and propriety single T Cell Profiling applications along with the optimum level of features to meet their research and budgetary needs. "At PhenomeX, we are excited to launch the Beacon Quest, as it supports our objective of offering scientists and researchers globally the ability to affordably access the main applications of the Beacon system, including antibody discovery, cell line development and single-cell functional multiomic T-cell profiling," said Siddhartha Kadia, Ph.D., chief executive officer of PhenomeX. "We look forward to partnering with and providing significant value in the academic research segments, particularly in immuno-oncology translational cancer centers and innovative cell and gene therapy development centers." Beacon Quest for T Cell Profiling Workflow Features Opto T Cell Profiling workflows on the Beacon Quest system enable multi-functional characterization of single T cells, including for development of efficacious immunotherapies and cell-based cancer therapeutics, that are ideally suited for academic, non-profit, and government customers. The Beacon Quest system enables a variety of assays to profile single T cells including detection of cytokine secretion, cytotoxicity, cell surface markers, transcriptome profiling and TCRSeq, with the potential to study growth characteristics and cell motility. The resulting analysis is used to identify cells with phenotypes of interest and guide recovery of the same cells for downstream assays, enabling researchers to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying biology by Investigating molecular mechanisms associated with polyfunctional T cells; Identifying desirable phenomes by correlating polyfunctionality with cytotoxicity; and Linking desirable phenotypes to T cell receptor sequences of the same cells. In addition to supporting the Opto T Cell Profiling workflows, Beacon Quest will enable customers to access the Opto B Discovery workflows and Opto Cell Line Development workflows. To further increase customer accessibility and affordability, PhenomeX will also offer reduced priced OptoSelect® chips (OptoSelect® Research chips) for Beacon Quest, helping academic customers accelerate the pace of scientific discovery for clinical research use applications. About PhenomeX Inc. PhenomeX is empowering scientists to leverage the full potential of each cell and drive the next era of functional cell biology that will advance human health. We enable scientists to reveal the most complete insights on cell function and obtain a full view of the behavior of each cell. Our unique suite of proven high-throughput tools and services offer unparalleled resolution and speed, accelerating the insights that are key to advancing discoveries that can profoundly improve the prevention and treatment of disease. Our award-winning platforms are used by researchers across the globe, including those at the top 15 global pharmaceutical companies and approximately 85% of leading U.S. comprehensive cancer centers.

Read More

MEDICAL

Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc. launches new multiplex digital PCR assay for comprehensive quantification of up to 5 different CAR-T transgenes

PRNewswire | June 02, 2023

During this year's AAPS National biotechnology conference, Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc., a Novartis subsidiary and a leading provider of innovative biomarker solutions for drug development, announced the launch of its new multiplex digital PCR assays for comprehensive quantification of multiple chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, a type of cancer immunotherapy that involves genetically modifying T cells to recognize and destroy certain cancers. These assays are based on the Qiagen QIAcuity digital PCR System, which offers a powerful yet easy-to-use digital PCR experience through its unique nanoplate system. The new multiplex digital PCR assay enables simultaneous measurement of the number, function and persistence of CAR-T cells in clinical blood and bone marrow samples, without the need for a standard curve. It can detect as low as 0.01% of CAR-T cells among normal T cells, with a turnaround time of less than two hours. These assays can measure up to five different CAR-T cell markers in a single reaction, using specific probes for different CAR targets, to quantitate multiple CAR-domains, or combinations of commonly used therapeutic targets for CAR-T therapies. The assay can help clinicians monitor response or safety events during clinical trials to enable the development of new therapies. "CAR-T therapy is a promising and innovative approach to treat cancer, but it requires accurate and reliable quantification of CAR-T cells for successful drug development," said Dr. Nathan Riccitelli, Associate Director of Innovative Technologies at Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc. "Our new proprietary multiplex digital PCR assay provides a comprehensive and robust solution for measuring CAR-T cells in clinical samples with high sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility." Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc. has developed this assay for use in sponsors-led clinical trials. If interested, contact them about how this assay can be used in upcoming clinical trial studies. Navigate Biopharma Services, Inc. Navigate BioPharma Services, Inc., an independently operating subsidiary within the Novartis group of companies, is a leading provider of innovative biomarker and specialty bioanalytic solutions for clinical development. Over the past decade, Navigate BioPharma has built and developed its exclusive library of assays, methodologies, and biomarker solutions. Their extensive expertise offers unique, accurate, reliable, and cost-effective solutions for its customers and partners.

Read More

MEDTECH, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Mission Bio Launches Tapestri v3 to Rapidly Accelerate Rare Cell Detection Applications for Translational Research and Precision Therapeutics

PRNewswire | June 01, 2023

Mission Bio, Inc., the pioneer in high-throughput single-cell DNA and multi-omics analysis, announced breakthrough improvements to the Tapestri® Platform and its core chemistry that enable highly confident detection of rare cells for a range of applications. With Tapestri® v3 chemistry, researchers can discover tiny numbers of single cells that, until now, easily escaped detection and influenced disease in invisible ways. At the same time, drug developers can use the new capabilities for a more complete understanding of their advanced therapies, potentially leading to safer, more effective medicines. The new Tapestri® v3 chemistry increases the number of cells captured per sample by up to four times compared to the prior chemistry, a notable enhancement. With enhanced cell capture, the Tapestri® Platform can more reliably detect rare cells, opening incredible new possibilities like improving the assessment of measurable residual disease (MRD), a key metric used increasingly in clinical settings to estimate the risk of relapse with certain cancers. In the case of MRD in hematological cancers, rare subclonal variants are commonly missed by bulk NGS due to its averaging effect, hindering the detection of relapse-driving clones that potentially offer new therapeutic targets. With Tapestri®'s expanded capabilities, new integrated multi-omics tools like the Tapestri® scMRD Assay for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) will offer clinicians additional therapeutic insights, rather than providing a binary 'yes or no' answer to the presence of residual disease. A team of investigators from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) using the assay has reported a high sensitivity of 0.01% limit of detection in data presented at Mission Bio's Tapestri® scMRD for AML Summit last year. Tapestri®'s new capabilities also hold promise for cell and gene therapy developers looking to improve quality assessment throughout the therapy development process. Powered by Tapestri® v3 chemistry, the increase in cell throughput means Tapestri® Genome Editing Solution can measure gene editing outcomes at single-cell resolution – even for very low-frequency events like translocations, which can have significant effects on the safety of the therapy. Tapestri® v3 is the latest example of Mission Bio's continued focus on customer-centric product and service development. The company has recently implemented additional quality control measurements including design and development, release, and documentation processes compliant with the ISO 9001 standard. "Our customers' success is at the forefront of our mind," said Adam Abate, PhD, Co-founder and Interim Chief Executive Officer of Mission Bio. "Researchers and drug developers are demanding ever-greater sensitivity and highly robust products to effectively progress their research or advanced therapeutic program, and we are committed to serving our customers and helping them achieve their goals." The new v3 reagents will be available for shipping starting in mid-June. About Mission Bio Mission Bio is a life sciences company that accelerates discoveries and cures for a wide range of diseases by equipping researchers with the tools they need to better measure and predict our resistance and response to new therapies. Mission Bio's multi-omics approach improves time-to-market for new therapeutics, including innovative cell and gene therapies that provide new pathways to health. Founded in 2014, Mission Bio has secured investment from Novo Growth, Cota Capital, Agilent Technologies, Mayfield Fund, and others.

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