CLN - Industry Playbook

Renalytix AI, Mount Sinai Launch COVID-19 Kidney Disease Study

Industry Playbook: JulyAug 2020

Renalytix AI and Mount Sinai Health System will collaborate on a study of COVID-19 patients and their risk of acute and chronic kidney disease. Researchers at Mount Sinai will utilize Renalytix AI’s KidneyIntelX platform to monitor patients’ kidney disease risk as COVID-19 progresses.

Evidence has shown that 20% of patients have developed acute kidney injury (AKI) after being diagnosed with COVID-19, the illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Further research shows that AKI causes higher mortality rates in those same patients. A recent study in China also revealed that SARS-CoV-2 has the potential to travel into kidney tissue, leading to further health issues in COVID-19 patients.

The study, Prediction of Major Adverse Kidney Events and Recovery (Pred-MAKER), will use the KidneyIntelX to analyze plasma and urine biomarkers in admitted patients. Researchers hope the findings will provide evidence of which patients are at a high risk of kidney diseases.

In addition, Renalytix AI and Mount Sinai have formed a joint venture, Kantaro Biosciences, to increase antibody testing for SARS-CoV-2. Kantaro has entered into a deal with Bio-Techne Corporation to develop testing kits designed to measure the presence or absence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in addition to measuring the number of antibodies a person has produced. Both companies have a goal of performing over 10 million tests a month beginning in midsummer.

Thermo Fisher Receives Federal Contract for Viral Transport Media

Thermo Fisher Scientific has acquired a contract from the U.S. government to ramp up its supply of viral transport media (VTM) for COVID-19 sample collection. As the U.S. races to provide sufficient testing for SARS-CoV-2, laboratory medicine professionals have continued to face shortages of VTM, which plays a vital role in ensuring the integrity of patient samples and the accuracy of test results.

Currently, Thermo Fisher’s site in Lenexa, Kansas, is the only one of the company’s locations that provides the necessary environment for dispensing VTM into transport tubes. The government contract will support Thermo Fisher’s plans to expand the Lenexa site. The company has already begun to increase VTM distribution from 50,000 tubes to more than 1 million tubes per week, and with a newly built $40 million facility dedicated solely to VTM production, the company hopes to manufacture over 8 million transport tubes per week.

“We have a proven blueprint for high-quality VTM production in Lenexa and look forward to bringing significant new capacity on line as quickly as possible to continue the necessary testing ramp-up in the U.S.,” said Marc N. Casper, chairman, president, and CEO of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

The company aims to open the new facility in the coming months and expects this to create approximately 300 new job opportunities.

Companies Team on Molecular Biosensor Chips to Detect SARS-CoV-2

Roswell Biotechnologies and Imec have announced they will work together to develop what could be the first molecular biosensor chip that tests for SARS-CoV-2. Roswell, a long-time developer of molecular electronic sensor chips, plans to use Imec’s research in nanoelectronics and digital technology to advance detection of infectious diseases.

The companies’ plan calls for developing a hand-held molecular electronic sensor chip that will integrate single molecules as electrical sensor elements on standard silicon chips. The companies will also incorporate Roswell’s Electronic Nano-Device Sequencing System, which can sequence an entire human genome in just minutes.

“The Roswell molecular electronic platform will transform the way infectious diseases are detected, with powerful new capabilities that enable rapid screening of many infectious diseases at once, or many viral strains, with portable or handheld devices,” said Paul Mola, CEO of Roswell.

Both partners hope that the molecular electronic sensor chip could be a breakthrough to screen for the COVID-19 virus, antigens, and antibodies rapidly, accurately, and at a low cost. Currently, the companies are finalizing development and aim to commercialize the chip in 2021.           

MilliporeSigma Gains Two CRISPR Patents

The U.S. has granted MilliporeSigma, also known as Merck, with its 25th and 26th patents toward CRISPR technology. The two recent patents apply to Millipore’s CRISPR-Cas9-assisted genome editing technology, which allows researchers to easily “knock in” and “knock out” mutations for development of disease models and gene therapies.

Through Millipore’s extensive work and research with CRISPR, the company has been granted multiple patents globally and has become the first with a patent that specifically covers the genome editing technology. The company has also established a Bioethics Advisory Panel for guiding research with CRISPR and a policy statement dealing with the ethical concerns involving its use.

“As a leading innovator of CRISPR technology, we will license this technology to ensure that the full potential of this powerful tool is realized, responsibly and ethically, throughout the scientific community,” said Udit Batra, PhD, CEO of MilliporeSigma. “We look forward to continuing our work with academic and industrial partners to bring the best of our collective innovations to fight the toughest diseases and improve human health.”

Olink Acquires Agrisera for Protein Research

After several years of collaboration, Olink Proteomics has acquired Agrisera to enhance Olink’s portfolio of protein assays available for its Proximity Extension Assay (PEA) technology. The PEA technology features multiple immunoassays that measure 92 proteins across 96 samples simultaneously. Olink plans to use Agrisera’s assortment of antibodies to develop additional protein assay services.

Olink’s specialization in protein research has allowed the company to advance in the field of precision medicine. Through the acquisition, Olink aims to analyze additional proteins that could be disease biomarkers. The acquisition also will provide Agrisera a new network of clients and potential for further partnerships.

“This is a great opportunity for Agrisera and we are very happy to be part of the Olink team, facilitating the Olink mission with our world class high-throughput antibody development capabilities. We are sure that Agrisera, as well as our partners and current customer base, will benefit from the strength of our new owner,” said Erika Gelfgren, CEO of Agrisera.

The company aims to open the new facility in the coming months and expects this to create approximately 300 new job opportunities.

Companies Team on Molecular Biosensor Chips to Detect SARS-CoV-2

Roswell Biotechnologies and Imec have announced they will work together to develop what could be the first molecular biosensor chip that tests for SARS-CoV-2. Roswell, a long-time developer of molecular electronic sensor chips, plans to use Imec’s research in nanoelectronics and digital technology to advance detection of infectious diseases.

The companies’ plan calls for developing a hand-held molecular electronic sensor chip that will integrate single molecules as electrical sensor elements on standard silicon chips. The companies will also incorporate Roswell’s Electronic Nano-Device Sequencing System, which can sequence an entire human genome in just minutes.

“The Roswell molecular electronic platform will transform the way infectious diseases are detected, with powerful new capabilities that enable rapid screening of many infectious diseases at once, or many viral strains, with portable or hand-held devices,” said Paul Mola, CEO of Roswell.

Both partners hope that the molecular electronic sensor chip could be a breakthrough to screen for the COVID-19 virus, antigens, and antibodies rapidly, accurately, and at a low cost. Currently, the companies are finalizing development and aim to commercialize the chip in 2021.           

MilliporeSigma Gains Two CRISPR Patents

The U.S. has granted MilliporeSigma, also known as Merck, with its 25th and 26th patents toward CRISPR technology. The two recent patents apply to Millipore’s CRISPR-Cas9-assisted genome editing technology, which allows researchers to easily “knock in” and “knock out” mutations for development of disease models and gene therapies.

Through Millipore’s extensive work and research with CRISPR, the company has been granted multiple patents globally and has become the first with a patent that specifically covers the genome editing technology. The company has also established a Bioethics Advisory Panel for guiding research with CRISPR and a policy statement dealing with the ethical concerns involving its use.

“As a leading innovator of CRISPR technology, we will license this technology to ensure that the full potential of this powerful tool is realized, responsibly and ethically, throughout the scientific community,” said Udit Batra, PhD, CEO of MilliporeSigma. “We look forward to continuing our work with academic and industrial partners to bring the best of our collective innovations to fight the toughest diseases and improve human health.”

Olink Acquires Agrisera for Protein Research

After several years of collaboration, Olink Proteomics has acquired Agrisera to enhance Olink’s portfolio of protein assays available for its Proximity Extension Assay (PEA) technology. The PEA technology features multiple immunoassays that measure 92 proteins across 96 samples simultaneously. Olink plans to use Agrisera’s assortment of antibodies to develop additional protein assay services.

Olink’s specialization in protein research has allowed the company to advance in the field of precision medicine. Through the acquisition, Olink aims to analyze additional proteins that could be disease biomarkers. The acquisition also will provide Agrisera a new network of clients and potential for further partnerships.

“This is a great opportunity for Agrisera and we are very happy to be part of the Olink team, facilitating the Olink mission with our world class high-throughput antibody development capabilities. We are sure that Agrisera, as well as our partners and current customer base, will benefit from the strength of our new owner,” said Erika Gelfgren, CEO of Agrisera.

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