CELL AND GENE THERAPY, MEDICAL
QIAGEN | January 11, 2023
QIAGEN recently announced its acquisition of Verogen, a leader in utilizing next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies to advance the future of human identification (HID) and forensic investigation.
QIAGEN, which introduced the first commercial kits to purify DNA from forensic casework samples in the late 1990s, is one of the leaders in the HID/forensics sector.
Verogen, a privately-owned company launched in 2017, provides NGS tools and professional services to the worldwide human identification community to assist in resolving criminal and missing-person situations.
Thierry Bernard, CEO of QIAGEN, said, “Bringing together Verogen and QIAGEN creates a unique opportunity to better help investigators and researchers to advance forensic science and to find missing persons, accurately identify suspects and exonerate the innocent.”
(Source: Business Wire)
Brett Williams, CEO of Verogen, stated, “We are proud to take our successful partnership with QIAGEN to the next level in a combination that we believe creates significant advantages for all stakeholders.”
(Source: Business Wire)
Verogen's sequencing and analysis solutions are optimized for Illumina's MiSeq FGx® Sequencing System. Due to this acquisition, QIAGEN receives exclusive distribution rights for this version of the MiSeq sequencer designed exclusively for forensics applications.
So far, more than 300 MiSeq FGx Sequencing Systems have been placed, making a strong debut in this market segment. The Verogen portfolio of kits for use on this sequencer includes the ForenSeq suite of kits, consisting of the DNA Signature Prep, Kintelligence, Imagen, and MainstAY product lines, which provide forensics professionals with better answers to aid in the resolution of the most difficult unsolved cases.
Additionally, QIAGEN gains complete access to Verogen's leading GEDmatch database and GEDmatch PRO™ interface. GEDmatch, which presently has more than 1.8 million genealogical profiles, is continuously expanding and enabling users to upload genetic profiles created by other genealogy websites to broaden the search for familial connections. In addition, GEDmatch PRO™ is designed to assist law enforcement and forensic teams with investigative comparisons of data submitted by GEDmatch users with their consent.
QIAGEN is a leading worldwide provider of Sample to Insight solutions, which allow clients to get valuable molecular insights from samples containing biomolecules. Its sample technologies isolate and process RNA, DNA, and proteins from blood, tissue, and other materials. In addition, the assay technologies make these biomolecules visible and accessible for analysis.
CELL AND GENE THERAPY, INDUSTRIAL IMPACT
Bio-Techne Corporation | March 20, 2023
Bio-Techne Corporation announced it has completed its participation in the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Process Analytical Technology (Catapult PAT) consortium, a multi-year collaboration involving 24 partner companies, technology providers, therapy developers, and charities. The Catapult PAT consortium is the first initiative of this scale and functional expertise with member companies and organizations collaborating to develop cell and gene therapy-specific process analytical technologies.
The PAT initiative began in January 2021 with a series of experiments designed to monitor process parameters of an exemplar 8-day T-cell expansion bioprocess using primary T-cells. Data were gathered from five independent analyses to generate an extensive, world-first dataset. An analysis of multiple cytokine targets was conducted using high-plex Luminex® immunoassays and the precision multiplexing Ella™ platform from Bio-Techne. The automated workflow of the Ella platform proved to be particularly amenable to the efficiency, accuracy, and throughput demands inherent in a bioprocess manufacturing environment. With its robust performance in this project, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult plans to incorporate Ella™ into an existing CGT Catapult facility to further support scientists in the UK.
"As a leader in the forefront of innovative tools to measure cytokines, we are honored to be a part of the Catapult PAT initiative to help advance cell and gene therapy development," said Will Geist, President of Bio-Techne's Protein Sciences Segment. "Bio-Techne remains excited about the potential of these advanced therapies to improve patient outcomes and treat a wide range of diseases that currently have very poor or ineffective treatments."
Established by Innovate UK, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult fosters collaborations between academia, industry, and healthcare providers to develop new technology and drive innovation. Catapult experts cover all aspects of advanced therapies, from research and development to clinical adoption and every step in between.
Bio-Techne Corporation is a global life sciences company providing innovative tools and bioactive reagents for the research and clinical diagnostic communities. Bio-Techne products assist scientific investigations into biological processes and the nature and progress of specific diseases. They aid in drug discovery efforts and provide the means for accurate clinical tests and diagnoses. With thousands of products in its portfolio, Bio-Techne generated approximately $1.1 billion in net sales in fiscal 2022 and has approximately 3,000employees worldwide.
MEDTECH, INDUSTRIAL IMPACT
Cybin | January 19, 2023
On January 18, 2023, Cybin Inc., a leading biopharmaceutical firm focused on advancing Psychedelics to Therapeutics®, announced the key findings from a feasibility study undertaken by its partner Kernel, which evaluated Kernel's Flow® wearable technology to assess ketamine's psychedelic effect on cerebral cortex hemodynamics. The findings of this Cybin-sponsored study are meant to guide the program's future direction.
The key highlights of the feasibility study are
It offered important proof-of-concept for Kernel Flow as a portable functional system that delivers real-time measurements of blood oxygenation changes in the brain linked with neural activity utilizing Time Domain Near Infrared Spectroscopy (TD-fNIRS).
Exhibited changes in functional brain biomarkers caused by ketamine that are related to potential therapeutic effects, including changes in cortical function associated with psychedelic experiences.
Compared to saline, ketamine reduces the global brain connectivity of the prefrontal region and decreases the brain-wide fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF). It has been proposed that fALFF is of particular functional significance within the default mode network, which has been demonstrated to be modulated by psychedelics and is associated with several neuropsychiatric conditions.
A model incorporating neurological and physiological metrics successfully predicted mystical experience scores on the Revised Mystical Experience Questionnaire, which has been shown to mediate reductions in depressive symptomatology in prior studies.
Displayed reliable pulse rate variability (PRV) and physiological measurements of pulse rate (PR) from TD-fNIRS recordings that correspond to those obtained from commercial external photoplethysmography sensors, thereby eliminating the need for external sensors to measure cardiac activity in future experiments.
Ketamine increased PR, decreased PRV, increased absolute oxy-hemoglobin concentrations and decreased deoxy-hemoglobin concentrations while increasing electrodermal activity (measured by an external sensor), providing additional physiological measures of the impact of the ketamine doses administered in the study.
The main goal of the feasibility study was to find out how people who had been given ketamine felt about wearing Kernel Flow while in an altered state of consciousness.
The feasibility study was granted FDA Investigational New Drug approval in October 2021 and US Institutional Review Board approval in January 2022.
Founded in 2019 and headquartered in Canada, Cybin is a biotechnology company that develops psychedelic pharmaceutical treatments for a variety of psychiatric and neurological disorders. It collaborates with a network of world-class partners and internationally recognized scientists to develop safe and effective treatments for patients dealing with a wide range of mental health conditions. The company is currently operating in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Netherlands.