IntelligentMDx, Qiagen Collaborate on Assays for QIAsymphony Platform

IntelligentMDx and Qiagen have entered a multi-year development and license agreement that will enable IntelligentMDx to develop and manufacture several undisclosed FDA-cleared and CE-marked diagnostic assays for Qiagen's QIAsymphony RGQ automated platform. A laboratory workflow system for molecular testing, the QIAsymphony automates all steps from biological sample to result. Qiagen has been developing an extensive menu of tests for this system that includes infectious disease and genetics assays, as well as companion diagnostics. IntelligentMDx will help accelerate the expansion of this menu by using its proprietary bioinformatics platform to efficiently design robust and accurate diagnostics for the QIAsymphony.

Immucor Purchases Lifecodes From Hologic

Hologic and Immucor inked a definitive deal under which Immucor will buy Hologic's Lifecodes business unit. Hologic originally obtained Lifecodes as part of its acquisition of Gen-Probe in August 2012. However, Lifecodes' focus on molecular and antibody-based assays for the markets of transplant diagnostics, specialty coagulation, and transfusion medicine is not in line with Hologic's fundamental growth strategies, according to Hologic's president and CEO, Rob Cascella. Selling Lifecodes will allow Hologic to focus resources on diagnostic opportunities that better fit with the company's goals, he added. The transaction will net Hologic $85 million in cash and is expected to close in the second quarter.

Carmenta Licenses Stanford Technology to Develop Preeclampsia Dx

Carmenta Bioscience has obtained a global, exclusive license from Stanford University for proprietary protein biomarkers in serum capable of identifying pregnant women with preeclampsia. Arising in 5–8% of pregnancies, preeclampsia is a major cause of preterm birth and maternal/fetal death and has been difficult for physicians to accurately identify due to its complex pathophysiology, according to Matthew Cooper, PhD, Carmenta president and CEO. Cooper said that Carmenta hopes to reduce deaths by developing with the technology from Stanford tests capable of both confirming clinical diagnosis and predicting preeclampsia. In particular, identifying pregnant women at high risk for preeclampsia should improve clinical outcomes by enabling physicians to monitor them better and to intervene more quickly if necessary.

Mayo Clinic Partners With Genomics Company SV Bio

Mayo Clinic and Silicon Valley Biosystems (SV Bio) have announced a collaboration in which SV Bio will provide Mayo with clinical genomic interpretation services. Launched in January, SV Bio is the first diagnostics company to provide rapid, turnkey clinical interpretation of comprehensive genomics data at the point-of-care. The fully computerized and automated SV Bio platform takes data from next generation sequencers and determines with clinical grade sensitivity and specificity which genetic variants within a patient's DNA sequence may be influencing a disease or condition. The results are reported to physicians within minutes after the sample is sequenced, in a format that is easily interpreted and applied to patient care, according to the company's press release. Such technology could accelerate the clinical adoption of genomic technologies, a process that has been hindered by factors such as real-time data analysis and the sheer volume of data.

"Every human disease has a genetic component but, to date, medical providers have not been able to fully use this information to improve clinical outcomes," said Dietrich Stephan, PhD, SV Bio founder and CEO. "SV Bio is building the requisite bridge from the genomics bench to the bedside."

By collaborating with Mayo Clinic, SV Bio will work with Mayo's Center for Individualized Medicine to unlock the full potential of next generation sequencing and to make this technology available to all patients.