David and Barbara Roux Provide Historic $10 Million Gift to Advance Genomic Medicine Research at The Jackson Laboratory

The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) has announced that technology investor David Roux and his wife Barbara have gifted $10 million to support research and find cures for genetically based diseases. The center will be based at the Laboratory’s locations in both Maine and Connecticut.

The newly announced Roux gift will be used to initiate the creation of the Roux Family Center for Genomics and Computational Biology. This center will be endowed with three new faculty chair positions and a permanent fund for recruiting expert staff and driving research and discovery at the Laboratory. The center will enable scientists to harness the full power of innovative genomic technologies and computational strategies, using them to analyze the human genome and discover new and better ways of preventing and treating disease. The Rouxs’ initial donation of $5 million will trigger a matching gift in their honor by JAX for a total gift of $10 million.

“At a time when public funding for disease research continues to dwindle, David and Barbara Roux have stepped forward to make a truly inspirational statement about the importance of supporting the future of genomic medicine in the shared quest to improve human health,” said Edison T. Liu, M.D., president and CEO of The Jackson Laboratory. “Their gift provides incredibly important leadership in this cause, and we are enormously grateful for their generosity.”

“Barbara and I are tremendously excited by the work that The Jackson Laboratory is doing in the area of genomic medicine,” said David Roux, co-founder and senior director of Silver Lake, one of the world’s leading private equity firms, and a member of the JAX board of trustees. “This remarkable research is transforming the world’s understanding of disease and the search for personalized and precise cures. We are privileged to help support these efforts.”

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution based in Bar Harbor, Maine, with a facility in Sacramento, Calif., and a new genomic medicine institute in Farmington, Conn. It employs 1,600 staff, and its mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health.

Source: The Jackson Laboratory

Abcodia Offers Access to its Unique Longitudinal Serum Biobank to Advance Biomarker R&D for Haematological Cancers

Abcodia recently announced an initiative to license access to serum samples from its unique longitudinal serum biobank for use in discovery and validation of biomarkers for haematological cancers. This unparalleled resource, believed to be the largest longitudinal collection of its kind, can substantially reduce the time to market and cost of R&D.

Haematological cancers are a diverse group of diseases. They represent the 5th most common cancer and are the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in the US. Longitudinal samples from a population-sized cohort of the same individuals provide the best chance of discovering new biomarkers and assessing disease progression to allow early disease detection and intervention, and to better target clinical trials for therapeutics.

The samples were donated by over 200,000 women, 50,000 of whom provided samples annually over 10 years as part of the UK Collaborative Trial in Ovarian Cancer Screening – the bank now holds over 5 million samples, of which around 3.5 million are from the volunteers that donated annually.

Abcodia can provide access to this large cohort of pre- and post-diagnosis cases across the full spectrum of haematological cancers, including lymphoma, multiple myeloma, acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). It also hold pre-disease-stage cases, such as myelodysplastic syndrome ahead of AML, for studies into disease formation. In addition, the samples are annotated with a range of demographic data for each volunteer and relevant clinical data can be obtained according to the study’s requirements.

In addition to our disease cases, a significant pool of healthy controls allows for detailed case-control matching on age, smoking, alcohol consumption and or other demographic factors. Controls can easily be matched to include or exclude confounding diseases with the knowledge that all of the samples have been collected to a standard protocol which minimises variability.

Abcodia’s collaborative business model can substantially de-risk the biomarker validation process for its partners throughout the research and development process.

Source: Abcodia

Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium Selects Project Proposed by Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine to Optimize Human Performance Monitoring Techniques

The Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium (NBMC), an industry-academia partnership with the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), has chosen a project proposed by the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM) at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, to receive research funding.  The AzCIM project’s goal is to assess different sweat collection methods and devices for their ability to collect different volumes of sweat under a variety of human-body conditions, the results of which will help determine the best method for integrating into a wearable sensor system.  Funding for the one year program will total $200,000.

Cypher Genomics Identifies and Verifies Genetic Cause of Rare Disease, Epileptic Encephalopathy

Cypher Genomics, Inc., the genome informatics company, recently announced the identification of de novo KCNB1 missense mutations as a novel genetic cause of severe epileptic encephalopathy. Cypher’s co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer Ali Torkamani, Ph.D. reviewed the data today at a platform presentation at the ASHG 2014 meeting being held October 18 to 22 in San Diego. This study highlights how Cypher’s Mantis(TM )technology, which incorporates commercial access to the Scripps Wellderly Cohort as a genome reference population, can rapidly and accurately identify novel causes of rare diseases.

BioNano Genomics Announces One Human : One Chip : One Day

BioNano Genomics recently announced achievement of a major milestone for the Irys system: the ability to collect human data at 30X depth, sufficient for a genome map, in 24 hours on a single chip. This new capability was established and demonstrated for the IrysChipTM V2, the high-throughput chip for the IrysTM System and will be rolled out to BioNano’s collaborators and customers over the next two months. BioNano will be showcasing this advancement at the American Society for Human Genetics (ASHG) 2014 Meeting taking place October 18-22 in San Diego. The one human : one chip : one day will provide a more rapid, accurate and comprehensive way of identifying structural variation to drive genomics discoveries. BioNano also announced major software updates to IrysViewTM and IrysSolveTM, to improve visualization and analysis.