Sequencing of events

A quick roundup of some late-2016 genomics-based diagnostics news

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We had a few bits of genomic-related diagnostics news that came in just before this winter set in, from some big players like HTG Molecular Diagnostics, QIAGEN and Illumina, as well as news from less-prominent DNA Electronics. So, before we get much farther out of 2016, we thought we’d give them some quick attention.
HTG and QIAGEN team up on precision diagnostics
TUCSON, Ariz., & VENLO, Netherlands—HTG Molecular Diagnostics Inc. and QIAGEN Manchester Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of QIAGEN N.V., announced in late 2016 a master assay development, commercialization and manufacturing agreement that creates a framework for both companies to combine their technological and commercial strengths with the goal to offer pharmaceutical companies a complete next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based solution for the development and commercialization of companion diagnostics, with a focus in oncology.
“We are very impressed with QIAGEN’s ‘sample to insight’ philosophy and quickly envisioned development and commercial synergies through our combined efforts with pharma,” said T.J. Johnson, HTG’s president and CEO. “Our objective is to develop a complete NGS solution from biomarker discovery to commercialized companion diagnostics, and we believe this agreement accelerates both companies’ efforts.”
“HTG’s extraction-free technology can add attractive capabilities to QIAGEN’s NGS-based ‘sample to insight’ solutions for applications in pathology where sample often is limited,” said Kai te Kaat, vice president and head of franchise oncology in the Molecular Diagnostics Business Area at QIAGEN. “The addition of HTG’s technology to our Sample to Insight GeneReader NGS system, and augmented by QIAGEN’s capabilities across NGS workflows, will enable our pharma partners to successfully profile patients including settings where only low sample amounts are available. This capability is of interest in many indication areas but primarily in oncology and immune-oncology applications.”

Illumina and Mayo Clinic form bioinformatics relationship
SAN DIEGO & ROCHESTER, Minn.—Illumina Inc. recently entered into an agreement with the Mayo Clinic to make advancements in NGS technology with the intent to accelerate Mayo’s delivery of genetic and genomic expertise.
Together, the organizations plan to integrate existing services and software tools and employ new, innovative solutions to improve Mayo Clinic’s reporting workflows for researching inherited disease, enabling Illumina to develop an informatics platform and knowledge base that can improve and automate genomic interpretation.
“Through this relationship, we will be able to generate large volumes of genomic information, interrogate the data and then compare it to what’s known about those variants and those genetic aberrations in real time, saving our geneticists time,” said Dr. William Morice II, chair of Mayo’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and president of Mayo Medical Laboratories. “We are pleased to work with Illumina and to leverage each other’s expertise in genetic sequencing and analysis.”

DNAe gains more than $50M to develop rapid diagnostics
WASHINGTON, D.C. & LONDON—The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority recently awarded a $51.9-million contract to London-based DNA Electronics (DNAe) to develop semiconductor-based NGS diagnostics, with a focus on antimicrobial resistant infections and influenza.
In the project, dubbed Pathogen Identification from Specimen via Capture Extraction and Sequencing, DNAe will complete development and validation of its Genalysis platform and submit its tests for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“Unlike existing sequencing devices, the platform operates ‘push button’ directly from raw clinical specimens such as blood or swabs, delivering a clinically relevant report for the physician,” said Sam Reed, president of DNAe’s U.S. office.

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