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Sanguine BioSciences Signs Agreements with More than 200 Partners to Enable Efficient Personalized Medicine Research

Sanguine BioSciences, a biotechnology company enabling personalized medicine research, today announced that it has signed commercial agreements with, and received orders from, more than 200 biomedical researchers at academic, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, to enable more efficient personalized medicine research. Ongoing agreements are in place with a wide range of organizations, ranging from startups, such as Inhibrx, to contract research organizations, such as Applied Immunology, and major drug developers, such as Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Sanguine directly engages patients diagnosed with severe and chronic diseases to collect and de-identify biospecimen, medical history and other data that can be used in biomarker research. Traditional methods are to obtain biospecimen through hospitals, but this process can result in months of delays as the focus for physicians and staff is on diagnosis and treatment, not facilitating research efforts. By engaging patients directly, Sanguine can meet the needs of researchers and offer timely turnaround of biospecimen and medical data with diverse ranges for age, race, disease state, gender and treatments underway. The patient engagement tactics used by the company have led to a 95 percent retention rate, which also allow for follow-up draws for longitudinal studies.

“In a very short amount of time, and with only recently hiring our first few sales executives, our company has established agreements with ten of the largest drug developers in the world and continues to see high demand for our offering,” said Brian Neman, founder and chief executive officer of Sanguine. “Researchers have specific needs to complete studies in early discovery work, sometimes run with blood samples drawn the same day and other times requiring follow-up draws on exact time schedules, but traditional strategies to obtain these add months to the timeline. Our commitment to patient engagement, transparency and advocacy removes much of this wait time – accelerating the research and increasing the efficiency of the process overall.”

Sanguine is able to meet, review disclosures and collect blood samples in a patient’s home with its own phlebotomists in multiple major U.S. cities. Patients are also able to track how their de-identified biospecimen and data are used through the donor web portal. The company is able to collect and process blood from patients with any disease and has already built large libraries in multiple chronic and severe conditions, including Huntington’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and others.

In order to maintain appropriate confidentiality, all samples are de-identified immediately upon collection. Sanguine maintains and reviews internal ethical guidelines for the procedures under high scrutiny from an independent review board.

Source: PR Newswire

Mayo Clinic Hosts NIH Genomics Director at Individualizing Medicine Conference

From Promise to Practice is the title and the main message of the second annual Individualizing Medicine Conference at Mayo Clinic, Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Physicians from more than 40 states and several countries will be arriving in Minnesota to hear and learn about the latest developments and research in genomic research and how to move these discoveries into the medical practice. “Our goal is to inform practicing physicians, but other care providers, students, media and the public as well,” says Richard Weinshilboum, M.D., chair of this year’s conference held by Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine. “Individualizing prevention, diagnosis and treatment is the core of medical genomics and the future of medicine. Even if you missed the last 13 years since the mapping of the human genome, we’ll help you catch up in three days.”

Opening keynote speaker on Monday, September 30, will be Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Genomic Health Research, Bethesda, M.D. Co-hosts for the conference will be Richard Besser, M.D., chief health and medical editor for ABC News and former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control, and Ceci Connolly, managing director of the Health Research Institute, PwC.

The conference offers expert speakers, focused breakout sessions, and real-life case studies so participants can discover and discuss emerging topics in medical genomics. Topics range from translating genomic findings into clinical care to communicating accurately and ethically with patients. Also this year, on Sunday, Sept. 29, an “Omics 101” seminar will be offered at a lay level for those new to individualized medicine. This course is being offered separately and is ideal for students and media who will be working in or reporting on the genomics field.

Individualized medicine is a growing field of patient care based on the increasing knowledge of the human genome, mapped just a decade ago. Mayo Clinic is a leader in transferring medical genomics to medical practice clinomics as evidenced by its Individualized Medicine Clinic, launched a year ago. Mayo’s Center for Individualized Medicine also includes programs in biomarker discovery, pharmacogenomics, epigenomics and the human microbiome.

Source: Mayo Clinic

DHMRI and Metabolon Announce Strategic Partnership to Provide Expanded Metabolomics Capabilities

The David H. Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI) at the North Carolina Research Campus and Metabolon, Inc., recently announced that they have entered into a strategic agreement to align metabolomics research services. Metabolon is a pioneering leader in discovery metabolomics and specializes in rapidly assessing metabolism in biological samples to quickly identify prospective biomarkers and to understand metabolic effects of treatments, interventions, nutritionals, etc. The agreement complements DHMRI’s mass spectrometry and NMR‐based metabolomics services through access to Metabolon’s industry‐leading high‐throughput biomarker discovery and profiling platform which provides an extensive, untargeted, broad metabolite survey of more than 4000 biochemicals.

“This agreement leverages the strengths of our organizations to best serve DHMRI collaborators to understand metabolism and ultimately answer key research questions and deliver healthy food products for consumers. We have worked extensively in food science and nutrition and recognize that our combined resources are indeed complementary. DHMRI is a center of excellence in nutrition research and we are delighted to do our part to meet their growing needs,” says Chris Bernard, senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Metabolon.

DHMRI is an established not‐for‐profit research institute that provides flexible, client‐focused research services to academia, government and industry collaborators. This agreement,
consistent with the DHMRI’s collaborative approach to scientific inquiry, provides partners with additional resources for metabolomics. Metabolon’s global metabolomic approach can
pinpoint active pathways which can be further interrogated by targeted and or customized approaches offered by the DHMRI Metabolomics team.

“We are excited to broaden the breadth of services offered by the DHMRI to our collaborators. The benefits stemming from the collective knowledge of our organizations will be readily
realized by researchers, companies and consumers,” said Steve Lommel Ph.D., Interim President, David H. Murdock Research Institute.

Source: David H. Murdock Research Institute

Nodality, Inc. Reports Promising Rheumatoid Arthritis Study Results to Predict Patient Treatment Response to TNF Inhibitors

Nodality, Inc., an innovative biotechnology company advancing discovery, development and use of transformative therapies by revealing functional systems biology, recently announced results of the Company’s comprehensive research study to identify cell markers (biomarkers) of disease activity and treatment success in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. The study findings demonstrated that Nodality’s SCNP technology, which measures functional pathways at the single cell level, can be used to identify biomarkers of responsiveness to treatment with tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFIs). RA affects an estimated two million Americans, and TNFIs constitute the most commonly prescribed therapy. Approximately half of patients respond to treatments such as TNFIs, leaving a substantial unmet need to identify which patients are more likely to respond to current therapies. Optimizing use of currently available therapies could potentially delay tissue damage and progression of disease.

SCNP provides the core technology foundation for Nodality’s programs dedicated to improving clinical medicine by increasing the efficiency of therapeutic R&D programs, enhancing life cycle management for commercialized drugs, and introducing new predictive diagnostics. The study results were featured in an oral presentation titled, Comparison of functional immune signaling profiles in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients versus healthy donors (HD) using Single Cell Network Profiling (SCNP) (Abstract W7.02.04), at the 15th International Congress of Immunology (ICI) in Milan, Italy, taking place August 22 to 27, 2013. The findings were presented by S. Louis Bridges, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., Marguerite Jones Harbert-Gene V. Ball, MD Professor of Medicine, Director, Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, University of Alabama School of Medicine.

“Nodality’s research program demonstrates the great promise and potential in gaining a better understanding of disease biology and applying this to the development of prognostic and predictive biomarkers for autoimmune diseases such as RA,” commented Alessandra Cesano, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Nodality. “I look forward to the final results of this program, one of the most comprehensive of its kind. Our technology, based on immune-biology, can predict which RA patients will respond to specific therapies and reveal the mechanisms of drug resistance, thus informing alternative therapeutic strategies.”

The Nodality research program compares healthy and diseased peripheral blood cells at the single cell level, studying samples obtained through the national Treatment Efficacy and Toxicity in Rheumatoid Arthritis Database and Repository (TETRAD). Nodality anticipates completing its research program and announcing the key findings later this year.

Laura Brege, Nodality’s President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “ICI has provided an important opportunity to showcase one of our key programs in immunology, further validating our broadly enabling SCNP platform. This platform has led to major collaborations in immunology addressing significant unmet needs among patients, as well as new predictive diagnostic modalities in blood cancers. Ultimately, Nodality’s goal is to accelerate and make more efficient the development of new therapeutic agents for serious diseases affecting large patient populations within immunology and oncology, two areas of continuing significant unmet clinical need.”

Additional program results were featured in a second oral presentation at the ICI Congress in a presentation titled, Functional proteomic interrogation of immune cell crosstalk and the effects of cytokine-targeted inhibitors using Single Cell Network Profiling (SCNP) (Abstract W7.02.03).

Source: Nodality, Inc

Agilent Technologies Launches New AssayMAP Peptide Sample-Prep Solution

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) recently announced the launch of its new AssayMAP peptide sample-prep solution, which offers automated protein digestion, peptide cleanup and fractionation in preparation for mass-spectrometry analysis.

As more scientists adopt LC/MS analysis for biomarker discovery, the bottleneck shifts to sample preparation. As these types of studies involve much larger numbers of samples, traditional manual methods are proving untenable in terms of hands-on time and unreliable in terms of reproducibility.

“Using the combination of extremely consistent, parallelized digestion with automated reverse-phase cleanup via AssayMAP, at a scale appropriate for ultrasensitive proteomics applications, has enabled us to contemplate collaborative studies of previously unheard-of scales and throughput,” said Jacob Jaffe, Ph.D., assistant director of proteomics platforms at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass.

“The AssayMAP peptide sample-preparation solution is one of the ways Agilent is addressing the need for high-throughput, reproducible sample-preparation methods in front of precision analytical instruments,” said Kathleen Shelton, senior director of automation marketing at Agilent. “Agilent’s unique ability to deliver high-quality solutions for automating sample preparation through analysis enables scientists to maximize workflow productivity and be more successful.”

AssayMAP helps address the bottleneck created with traditional sample preparation for mass-spec analysis and enables unprecedented precision and throughput. This easy-to-use solution includes validated automation protocols driven through intuitive software, the AssayMAP Bravo liquid-handling instrument, and a suite of AssayMAP cartridges optimized for peptide cleanup and fractionation. The AssayMAP peptide sample-prep solution makes large campaigns possible for mass-spec analysis, leveraging the strength of this analytical method to unambiguously identify peptides.

Source: Agilent Technologies