PrecisionLife and Sano Genetics plan to develop a better understanding of the long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infections for those who experienced mild cases. PrecisionLife’s combinatorial analytics can provide users with patient stratification biomarkers that may lead to new treatments to aid long COVID diagnoses, the companies said.        

Under the terms of the agreement, Sano Genetics will provide PrecisionLife with data from 3,000 U.K. adults diagnosed with long COVID. PrecisionLife will then analyze this data to identify risk factors and potential drug targets within long COVID patients. The companies are working to ensure that the results are accurate and representative of the population demographics in the U.K. Innovate UK, a U.K. government funding body, provided financial support to Sano Genetics that enabled the company to collect the patient data used in this partnership.

Previously, PrecisionLife used its analytics solution to identify 68 genes associated with serious disease and hospitalization in SARS-CoV-2 patients. Additionally, PrecisionLife revealed opportunities for 29 approved drugs that target the identified genes and that could be repurposed as COVID-19 treatments.

Babson Diagnostics and BD Expand Strategic Partnership

Babson Diagnostics and BD announced their partnerships’ expansion to advance diagnostic blood collection in new care settings. The two companies have collaborated to create small-volume capillary blood collection devices for retail settings since 2019. Plans under the new agreement include continuing research and development to create at-home self-collection devices and accompanying mobile services. Additionally, both companies aim

to broaden the different types of blood tests possible through small-volume blood collection beyond care-oriented tests.

Babson Diagnostics CEO David Stein said that this partnership is “critical” for today’s healthcare environment, and that Babson aims to expand convenient blood testing to a global scale. Stein also noted that retail convenience is important for consumers today.

Brooke Story, president of Integrated Diagnostics Solutions for BD, added that, because capillary blood collection is less invasive than the venous blood draw method, the two companies’ self-collection devices may lead to better compliance among patients for routine blood tests.

Qlucore Collaborates With Lund University to Develop Better Bladder Cancer Diagnostics

Qlucore has teamed with scientists from Lund University to develop improved bladder cancer diagnostics. Qlucore will us its expertise in bioinformatic software to analyze Lund University’s cancer diagnostics data. Advancements from both parties will be used in Qlucore Diagnostics, a machine learning-based software that features user-friendly 3D visualizations of patient results.

Professors from Lund University developed “the Lund Taxonomy” to classify patients into molecular subtypes with clinical values based on RNA expression analysis. RNA-based analysis allows for classification based on gene fusions and gene expression signatures. Meanwhile, DNA expression analysis reflects the dynamics of an already developing cancer.

The two collaborators aim for the Qlucore Diagnostics solution to fill a missing element in the clinical precision diagnostic workflow and to improve prediction of patients’ responses to treatment. Through the partnership, Qlucore will sell Qlucore Diagnostics and related products to hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic laboratories in the United States and Canada.

StageZero Life Sciences Partners With DiagnoseAtHome to Offer MultiCancer Blood Test

StageZero Life Sciences has joined forces with DiagnoseAtHome to create a multicancer blood test in the United States and Canada. According to the companies, the test, Aristotle, is the first-ever mRNA panel that screens for multiple cancers from one blood sample.

Aristotle interrogates mRNA from a sample and detects gene expression profiles that indicate specific cancers, including breast, ovarian, endometrial, colorectal, liver, stomach, and prostate cancers. mRNA gene expression technology from StageZero lays the foundation for this new test, while DiagnoseAtHome offers accessible at-home health and lab testing solutions as convenient alternatives for patients, the companies said.

The partnership with DiagnoseAtHome will allow for greater accessibility for both existing clients and new ones, said StageZero CEO James Howard-Tripp. The two companies also plan on further developing a test to diagnose different cancers in the early stages.

Nicoya Acquires LSK Technologies, Expanding Digital Platform Into Molecular Testing

Nicoya Lifesciences, a company focused on digital proteomics solutions, has bought LSK Technologies, a University of Toronto startup that is working to decentralize laboratory testing with their high-throughput lab-in-a-box platform. Nicoya has continued to build upon its novel method of viral detection since 2021, incorporating the company’s digital microfluidic and nanoplasmonic biosensor technology into a portable device for rapid antigen testing. With the integration of LSK’s amplification technology and associated intellectual property, Nicoya will further broaden the applicability of their platform across a variety of testing and diagnostic applications, while maintaining affordability and ease of use.

CEO and co-founder of Nicoya, Ryan Denomme, said collaborating with LSK Technologies strengthens the company’s foundation in point-of-need testing while simultaneously expanding Nicoya’s portfolio. Meanwhile, CEO and cofounder of LSK Technologies, Seray Cicek, said that the new deal will make progress towards making testing more accessible and affordable.

With the new acquisition, Nicoya will continue to support LSK’s existing customers while also offering LSK products under the Nicoya brand.

Biodesix Teams With Memorial Sloan Kettering to Develop Minimal Residual Disease Test

Biodesix announced that they developed a master sponsored research agreement with the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to develop a novel minimal residual disease (MRD) test. The test will be a highly sensitive molecular test designed to run on the Bio-Rad QX600 ddPCR system and will launch later this year. As part of the partnership, Biodesix also plans to develop and commercialize oncology biomarker assays based on their array of genomics, proteomics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning capabilities.

“The initiation of this research program with MSK is a significant milestone for Biodesix,” said Biodesix CEO Scott Hutton. “While the initial focus will be on developing a novel MRD test for solid tumors as an addition to our pipeline, Biodesix hopes to codevelop and validate a number of new test concepts under the agreement.”