On the cutting edge

A roundup of instrumentation, software and other tools and technology news

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TOKYO—Rigaku showcased several of its technologies at recent shows in 2016, including presenting its diverse lines of X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and Raman spectroscopy instrumentation at the 2016 MRS Fall Meeting and Exhibit that ran from near the end of November to the first few days of December. The event was organized by the Materials Research Society and held in Boston.
Materials analysis instrumentation from Rigaku range from benchtop devices, suited for researchers employing X-ray techniques, to high-end instruments with advanced analytical capabilities. Among the instruments featured at the event were the fifth-generation Rigaku MiniFlex benchtop X-ray diffraction instrument, a general-purpose X-ray diffractometer that can perform qualitative and quantitative analysis of polycrystalline materials.
Rigaku also presented its XRD and XRF technology for qualitative and quantitative analysis at the 2016 Eastern Analytical Symposium in mid-November in Somerset, N.J.
Again, a key presentation was the MiniFlex, which is designed to deliver speed and sensitivity through innovative technology enhancements such as the optional D/teX high-speed detector coupled with a 600 W X-ray source. Rigaku calls its 600 W MiniFlex “the most powerful system of its type” and notes that it features an available sample changer.
Finally, in late September, Rigaku attended the 2016 CPhI Worldwide meeting in Barcelona, Spain, presenting its latest handheld and portable analyzer, Progeny. The Progeny 1064nm handheld Raman analyzer is designed for rapid and accurate chemical identification, verification and authentication applications. The analyzer enables identification of “the largest number of pharmaceutical raw materials and finished goods because of minimized sample-induced fluorescence interference known to plague other handheld Raman systems utilizing 785 nm excitation sources,” Rigaku says. Using Progeny 1064nm handheld Raman spectrometer, pharmaceutical manufacturers can reportedly streamline workflow processes, resulting in time and cost savings benefits, providing a rapid return on investment. Progeny’s CompleteID software is compliant with 21 CFR Part 11, EP Revised Chapter 2.2.48, USP 37, and UK MHRA GMP Data Integrity guidelines and regulations.

Specimatch launches clinical trial monitoring for cancer patients
ATLANTA—Specimatch, which touts itself as the first continual clinical trial monitoring service, announced recently the availability of its web-based software service for cancer patients and oncologists. On Specimatch.com, users are said to be able to easily and intuitively connect to clinical trials personally matched to the patient’s genetic and clinical profiles.
Clinical trials are a key driver in bringing cancer breakthroughs to market, Specimatch says, yet 75 percent of investigators fail to enroll the targeted amount of patients per trial despite hundreds of millions of dollars in spending per trial. Although trials offer first access to cutting-edge precision treatments, approximately 85 percent of U.S. cancer patients lack access to these opportunities and only 3 percent are successfully placed into trials.
“Accessibility to cancer trials is not only critical to improving the quality of precision medicine, but it is also an invaluable option for the cancer patient whose survival is at stake,” said Dr. Ken Dixon, founder of Specimatch. “We created Specimatch as a solution for patients and oncologists to tap into a complex landscape of breakthrough treatments with both accuracy and simplicity. Specimatch alleviates the gaps in care by putting the power of precision medicine in the hands of patients and the doctors with whom they partner in the fight against cancer.”

Choosing Connectria to host custom Citrix solution
ST. LOUIS—Connectria Hosting, a global cloud hosting company and founder of the No Jerks Allowed movement, today announced Schlafender Hase (SHI) has chosen Connectria for a customized hosted Citrix solution. SHI is a global leader in proofreading software and services for regulated industries. Their computer-driven proofreading solution, Text Verification Tool (TVT), automatically compares documents and identifies discrepancies. Most effective in regulated environments like the global pharmaceutical industry, TVT can be used in any proofreading situation where the printed document must be identical with the originally approved manuscript. Regardless of file size, TVT is said to support virtually all file formats in all languages and is capable of comparing multiple files in different file formats and languages simultaneously.
When SHI wanted to introduce a software-as-a-service (SaaS) version of TVT, they decided to partner with a hosting company that could provide the IT infrastructure and services they needed. After an extensive search, SHI chose Connectria.
“Our Text Verification Tool As-a-Service (TVTaaS) is a flexible, web-based solution that allows customer access anywhere, anytime,” noted Peter Muller, SHI managing director. “We chose Connectria to host and manage our TVTaaS due to their extensive expertise with Citrix and their high level of security, including HIPAA compliance. This is paramount to our clients who operate validated solutions within a regulated market.”
Since choosing Connectria to host its SaaS solution, the number of SHI’s TVTaaS users has more than doubled.

Moffitt Cancer Center taps Cryoport
TAMPA, Fla.—In late December, Moffitt Cancer Center chose Cryoport Inc., a leading global cryogenic logistics company, to provide support for its immunology program, cancer research and therapy programs and lab moves. Cryoport is a global provider of cold chain logistics solutions for temperature-sensitive life-sciences commodities, serving the biopharmaceutical market with leading-edge logistics solutions for biologic materials, such as regenerative medicine, including immunotherapies, stem cells and CAR-T cells.
“By selecting Cryoport as our cryogenic logistics solutions provider, Moffitt has ensured the successful movement of all our biologics, whether it entails a lab move, therapies, tissue, vaccines and/or biopsies for the treatment of our patients,” said Moffitt Cancer Center Director Dr. Tom Sellers. “Cryoport understands the critical nature of our shipments, has the advanced capabilities to monitor shipments and track conditions and location of our biological commodities in transit around the clock. We are impressed with Cryoport’s demonstrated ability to deploy its intervention capability to mitigate any logistics risks we might face.”

ZS Pharma selects TikaMobile for mobile intelligence and analytics
NEW YORK—TikaMobile Inc., a cloud-based mobile and analytics software provider for the life-sciences industry, recently announced that ZS Pharma, a member of the AstraZeneca Group, focused on using its proprietary ion-trap technology to develop new treatments addressing unmet needs in the pharma and medical community, would deploy the TikaPharma solution to help launch their new product ZS-9 as a new therapeutic option for hyperkalemia.
TikaPharma will provide the ZS Pharma sales team with actionable intelligence and analysis at the customer and territory levels accessible via both iPad and the web to help them drive revenue.
Yasser Ali, vice president of business analytics for ZS Pharma, said, “At ZS Pharma, we’re dedicated to leveraging innovative approaches to transform patient care. We’ve adopted this mindset within the commercial team when it comes to the analytics we provide to our sales team. In TikaMobile, we found a partner equally dedicated to innovation in mobile intelligence and analytics. New biopharma drug launches require near real-time insights on new diagnoses, reimbursement challenges, source of business, etc. We feel that the TikaPharma platform is ideal to deliver this intelligence due to its agile nature and exceptional user experience.”

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