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Archives for March 2013

Agilent Technologies and Applied Proteomics Will Collaborate to Maximize Capabilities of Highly Multiplexed Protein Assays

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) and Applied Proteomics Inc. recently agreed to collaborate on highly multiplexed protein assays and workflow solutions for multiple reaction monitoring through mass spectrometry. Proteins perform many important cellular functions, are the targets of most drugs and therapies, and are often used as biomarkers for detecting and monitoring disease.

Biomarkers May Help Predict Progression of Barrett’s Esophagus to Esophageal Adenocarcinoma

A series of microRNA expression signatures that may help to define progression of the precancerous condition Barrett’s esophagus into esophageal adenocarcinoma was reported recently in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Veracyte Announces UnitedHealthcare Coverage Policy For the Afirma® Gene Expression Classifier

Veracyte, Inc., a molecular diagnostics company pioneering the emerging field of molecular cytology, today announced that UnitedHealthcare, one of the nation’s largest private health insurers, has issued a positive medical coverage policy for the Afirma® Gene Expression Classifier for use in assessing thyroid nodule fine needle aspirate (FNA) biopsies that are indeterminate – not clearly benign or malignant following traditional cytology review. The new medical coverage policy will apply to the insurer’s nearly 27 million commercial members, effective April 1, 2013. Veracyte’s genomic test is already covered for approximately 40 million Medicare patients nationwide.

Miraculins to License Additional Preeclampsia Technology from Mount Sinai Hospital

Miraculins Inc. (TSX-V:MOM), a medical diagnostic company focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing diagnostic tests and risk assessment technologies for unmet clinical needs, announces today its plans to add to its suite of maternal health biomarkers under license from Mount Sinai Hospital’s Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute by signing a term sheet to license methods and reagents for detecting hydroxylated Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1 alpha (“HIF-1aOH”), a promising biomarker with potential in differentiating high and low risk pregnancies, including risk of preeclampsia. The technology is part of the pioneering research on preeclampsia and placental development being conducted by Dr. Isabella Caniggia, Senior Investigator at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, in collaboration with Dr. Martin Post, a Senior Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children. Dr.Caniggia is also a member of Miraculins’ Scientific Advisory Board and is cross-appointed at the University of Toronto as a Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Physiology.

In addition to its promise in maternal health and preeclampsia, HIF-1aOH also presents an opportunity as a cancer biomarker and of further note, the license will include unique monoclonal antibodies highly sensitive to HIF-1aOH and the exclusive rights to manufacture reagents that measure the biomarker using materials developed by Dr. Caniggia. Miraculins is currently advancing a development plan for a kit to detect and measure HIF-1aOHin bodily fluid, which if successful could lead to a near term commercial research use product and allow for more widespread research into the utility of this novel biomarker. The ultimate goal for the biomarker development program would be worldwide sales of the biomarker technology, either alone or in combination with other markers, in a diagnostic kit for the early detection of preeclampsia or as a pregnancy risk assessment tool.

“Since HIF-1a is central to proper placental development, early detection of abnormal HIF-1a regulatory mechanisms could one day provide tools to physicians and caregivers to differentiate high and low risk pregnancies. Although HIF-1a itself is a very promising biomarker, the hydroxylated form may prove to be important to diagnosing the severity of preeclampsia and to better manage this disease throughout pregnancy,” stated Dr. Isabella Caniggia, the discoverer of the markers that comprise Miraculins’ preeclampsia biomarker suite and inventor of the HIF-1aOH technology. “I am very eager to expand our continued work with the Miraculins team to achieve the goal of better outcomes for mothers and babies.”

“We are very pleased to expand our maternal health program and partnership with Dr. Caniggia and Mount Sinai Hospital’s Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute,” stated Christopher J. Moreau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Miraculins Inc. “This program has been very successful to date, and recently produced a license agreement for the biomarker Endoglin with a major global diagnostic company. We look forward to continuing research into this promising biological pathway with the goal of developing additional preeclampsia diagnostic tools for this devastating disease of growing incidence worldwide.”

Source: Miraculins

Bina Technologies Launches Platform Today, Delivering Breakthrough Big Data Solution for Genomic Analysis

Bina Technologies, the genomic big data science platform accelerating personalized medicine, today announced the commercial launch of the Bina Genomic Analysis Platform. The platform is a linearly scalable end-to-end solution for genomic analysis that is uniquely built to deliver improved data accuracy, reducing the time and improving the cost-effectiveness of processing raw genetic data and generating new insights.

With the Bina Platform, research institutions, universities and health organizations are now equipped to analyze and manage the increasing volume of sequenced DNA data available for variant analysis, which has quickly become a big data problem and bottleneck across the genomic industry. Instead of analyzing a single genome which takes days to complete, the Bina Genomic Analysis Platform can analyze a whole human genome in 4 hours or less.

“One of the main barriers in making personalized medicine a reality is the ever growing challenges around data analysis and data management as more genomic data is generated each day,” said Narges Bani Asadi, founder and CEO of Bina Technologies. “We at Bina are excited to help solve these challenges and deliver scalable genetic analysis, enabling clinicians and scientists to uncover entirely new medical insights.”

Over the past several months, Bina has been conducting an ambitious pilot program with organizations including the Stanford Genetics Department and the Veteran Affairs (VA) Hospital of Palo Alto who have been using the Bina Platform to ingest and analyze genomic data with increased speed and accuracy. Each pilot is experiencing record-breaking results in both speed and accuracy, analyzing several hundred whole human genomes, each in under 4 hours at 40x coverage—or an effective acceleration factor of 100x. Increasingly, scientific researchers and clinicians performing genomic analysis at scale are relying on improvements in both speed and accuracy, while expecting reductions in cost.

Historically, the delivery of data between upstream sequencing companies and downstream health and research organizations has been limited due to the lack of streamlined and affordable data analysis and delivery. The Bina Platform integrates elegantly as a much-needed pipeline between both the sequencing and analysis, and applied health and research segments of the market, enabling vast improvements in patient care due to timely and greater insight into diseases at the molecular level, such as cancer and other genetic disorders.

Moreover, most of today’s genomic analysis tools within research organizations have been too reliant on open source pipelines that are not practical or accurate enough at true scale, as well as clinics who have become too dependent on homegrown technologies. The Bina Platform performs mission critical analysis at scale, more accurately and for less than the cost of doing it with open source or legacy solutions, speeding analysis by weeks and months.

The platform is offered as a massively scalable and extensible on-premise and hybrid cloud solution available on a monthly subscription basis, offering a high-performance computing and big data system for large-scale genomic analysis that organizations can trust. The on-premise solution, or the Bina Box, provides secure and dependable, private cloud storage for clinical organizations requiring even greater data security. Customers can also add Bina Boxes to rapidly increase their ability to analyze whole genomes at scale.

The new platform offering is the first formal technology product from the Silicon Valley based startup.

Source: Bina Technologies