Takara Bio has teamed up with BioExcel Diagnostics to develop and validate a new high-throughput and comprehensive method for detecting syndromic-based infectious diseases.
The method employs real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) automation technology and reagents from Takara Bio to detect viruses, bacteria, fungi, and antimicrobial resistance genes specific to the contributing pathogen.
BioExcel has developed and validated infectious disease panels to detect urinary tract infections, respiratory tract pathogens, sexually transmitted diseases, wound care, nail fungus, and antibiotic resistance. The company has adapted these panels for use on Takara Bio’s SmartChip
Real-Time PCR system. Integration of the infectious disease panels with this multiplexed nanoscale quantitative PCR technology will enable BioExcel to offer highly accurate results within 24–48 hours, the company said.
The automated method that the companies are developing uses the SmartChip Real-Time PCR instrument, chips, and reagents to run 5,184 reactions per chip in less than 30 minutes of direct hands-on time. Each nanoliter-scale reaction reduces variability by eliminating the preamplification step and reduces costs because of decreased reagent volumes.
BioExcel has launched advanced infectious disease testing services using these adapted panels and the SmartChip Real-Time PCR system. Takara Bio will support establishment of research-use-only products to be used in combination with the SmartChip Real-Time PCR system for pathogen detection in research settings and to support clinician-led research in the development of clinical assays.
SENSE AND ABACUS DX AGREE TO DISTRIBUTE RAPID MOLECULAR SARS-COV-2 TEST
Sense Biodetection recently announced a deal with Abacus dx for nonexclusive Australia and New Zealand distribution of Sense’s Veros instrument-free, point-of-care molecular testing platform.
Veros COVID-19 produces results in approximately 15 minutes and does not require a reader or external power. The test has demonstrated 97.9% accuracy with 95.2% sensitivity and 99.5% specificity.
Veros COVID-19’s clinical performance was established in a multicenter study that prospectively enrolled nearly 300 evaluable subjects during both the delta and omicron variant surges of the pandemic. All study sites represented near-patient testing and point-of-care environments, with all test operators reporting no prior formal laboratory training or experience. 100% of operators agreed the Veros COVID-19 was easy-to-use, read, and understand the results, with minimal hands-on time required from start to finish, Sense said, adding that the Veros COVID-19 results were compared against CE-marked qRT-PCR test results and proved to be 1,000 times more sensitive than current antigen tests.
Abacus dx is a leading specialty medical distributor that has connected innovative manufacturers with customers in Australia and New Zealand. The partnership will enable Abacus dx to supply customers immediately upon regulatory approval.
BIO-RAD LABORATORIES IN TALKS TO COMBINE WITH QIAGEN
Bio-Rad Laboratories is in talks to combine with fellow life sciences company Qiagen in a deal that would be worth more than $10 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Bio-Rad makes various products for the life science research and clinical diagnostic markets with a market capitalization of just under $12 billion. Qiagen is a Germany-based diagnostics company, with a market capitalization of about $10 billion.
Previously, Qiagen terminated a deal with Bio-Rad after failing to get its shareholders’ approval. An investor argued that the previously proposed deal undervalued Qiagen.
The deal now reportedly in process would be the latest in the medical diagnostic market, which has grown with help from pandemic-driven demand for testing. In 2021, Thermo Fisher Scientific paid about $17 billion for contract-research company PPD, whose major shareholders included private-equity firms Carlyle Group Inc. and Hellman & Friedman, WSJ reported.
Also in 2021, Illumina paid more than $7 billion for Grail, which markets blood tests for cancer. The Federal Trade Commission moved to block that deal, arguing it would harm competition in an emerging field of cancer testing. An administrative law judge ultimately ruled in Illumina’s favor, according to WSJ.
Other recent deals noted by WSJ include a proposed sale of Qiagen to Thermo Fisher Scientific for about $10 billion in 2020. Qiagen terminated the agreement after failing to get shareholder approval.
ILLUMINA LAUNCHES COLLABORATION WITH ASTRAZENECA FOR DRUG TARGET DISCOVERY
Illumina has entered a strategic research collaboration with AstraZeneca to accelerate drug target discovery by combining the companies’ strengths in artificial intelligence (AI)-based genome interpretation and genomic analysis.
The collaboration will evaluate whether a combined framework of these technologies can increase the yield and confidence of target discovery to find promising drugs that are more likely to be approved by regulatory agencies, Illumina officials said.
The collaboration leverages Illumina's next generation of AI-based interpretation tools, PrimateAI and SpliceAI, with AstraZeneca's analysis framework for rare variant genomic discoveries alongside the latter's own AI tools, including JARVIS and in silico predictors like missense tolerance ratio.
As part of the research collaboration, AstraZeneca’s Centre for Genomics Research will use the two companies’ AI-based tools to analyze large-scale multiomics data sets in its digital biobank. The complementary AI tools work to more confidently pinpoint genetic variants that contribute to human diseases, a critical step in the process of developing effective and safe therapies.
BRIGHTINSIGHT, BIOMÉRIEUX PARTNER ON DIGITAL HEALTH
BrightInsight and BioMérieux have partnered to develop and market a digital solution for diagnostics. The digital solution will leverage the BrightInsight Platform and BrightInsight Disease Management Solution to enable clinical decision support for disease areas across the companies’ diagnostic tests.
The digital solution also will improve clinical workflows, contextualize disease awareness, and ultimately enable a more holistic patient view to support actionable, informed clinical decisions.
The clinical digital solution will launch first in the U.S. before being distributed globally, according to the companies.
IMMUNOVIA-PROTEOMEDIX PARTNERSHIP FOCUSES ON COMMERCIALIZATION
Immunovia has joined forces with Proteomedix to leverage the two companies’ experience in cancer diagnostic technologies.
The partnership will enable increased research and development productivity for both companies, Immunovia said. Under the partnership, Immunovia will focus its internal resources on the commercial build up, accelerating the U.S. roll-out of the IMMray PanCan-d test, which measures 9 serum immunoregulatory and tumor biomarkers, including CA19-9, used in an algorithm that detects pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
In Europe, Proteomedix markets Proclarix, a next-generation prostate cancer test. The partnership will advance Proteomedix assay development expertise beyond prostate cancer, company officials said.