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C-Reactive Protein Test for Inflammation, NGS-Based Cancer Testing, More

July 28, 2022 | A pioneering low-cost device captures three-dimensional images for eye screening; exceptionally sensitive hybridization capture-based technology integrates into diagnostic exams; a new institute plans to develop at least ten new drugs or diagnostic approaches for heart and lung disease within five years; and more. 

A 10-year collaboration agreement between Mayo Clinic and Mercy—a first-of-its-kind alliance between two large health care systems—will use the most current data science and years of de-identified patient outcomes to find diseases earlier and start patients on paths to better health more quickly. Mayo’s expertise in highly complex care and extensive investment in data science platforms, together with Mercy’s two centuries of innovative care delivery in diverse communities and vast clinical information–including more than 500 million de-identified patient encounters–will provide the opportunity to develop high-value solutions and algorithms leading to more optimal care for patients. The resulting algorithms will represent the next generation of proactive and predictive medicine to access best practices in medical care. Press release.

Sheba Medical Center, Israel’s largest medical center, partnered with Intel Corporation to help doctors improve the diagnosis and treatment of people with Crohn's disease. Sheba developed a new, first-of-its-kind application capable of quickly and accurately analyzing extensive video data of a patient’s digestive system, providing valuable insights to aid medical professionals. The solution’s artificial intelligence-based algorithm, powered by Intel hardware and software technologies, aids clinicians in the identification of Crohn’s symptoms such as inflammation and ulcers. This is the first app that analyzes capsule videos from the digestive system of patients and helps physicians recommend better treatment options. Press release.

BrightInsight announced the launch of its digital Connected Diagnostics Platform. This comprehensive, compliant, secure, end-to-end platform is a one-stop shop for in vitro diagnostics manufacturers that streamlines workflows, accelerates revenue growth, and drives innovation. The Connected Diagnostics Platform has four powerful tools: a Proxy Agent, Analytics Dashboards, Integration Middleware, and Workflow Portals for the IVD manufacturer and the lab. As a result, BrightInsight eliminates the need for multiple products and partners, enabling accelerated time to market and minimizing risk with our best-in-class cybersecurity, privacy compliance, and global scalability. Press release

UCLA Health created a single test to detect all existing and new respiratory RNA viruses. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority’s Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures, which leverages new authorities under the 21st Century Cures Act, funded the project to develop scalable sequencing approaches for the agnostic detection of novel pathogens. The goal is to detect any respiratory RNA virus rapidly and without the need for additional regulatory approvals in future pandemic situations. These tests also provide information crucial for timely and actionable patient care. Press release

Researchers from the University of Strathclyde developed a pioneering low-cost device that takes three-dimensional images, potentially transforming eye screening and treatment across the globe. The device captures 3-D images of the retina, the back of the eye, and the cornea. Additionally, it can be attached to a slit lamp–a device commonly used by optometrists–as a simple and inexpensive add-on. The University also partnered with IDCP, a digital innovation group, to turn the device into a medical product. Press release

DNAnexus and Twist Bioscience Corporation announced a collaboration to accelerate research in designing, validating, and commercializing new, high-quality, next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based diagnostic tests. As part of the collaboration, Twist customers can use the integrated DNAnexus platform with Twist’s NGS Methylation Detection System and Unique Molecular Identifier (UMI) Adapter System to simplify data analysis after sequencing. The Twist NGS Methylation Detection System provides robust sample preparation and target enrichment solutions for identifying methylated regions in the human genome and uses extremely sensitive hybridization capture-based technology that can integrate into diagnostic tests. The Twist UMI Adapter System detects low-frequency variants in low-input sample sources such as cell-free DNA and can be used to enable cancer research. The DNAnexus platform allows users to easily explore and analyze complex datasets in a single, scalable, cloud-based environment. Press release

HRH The Duchess of Gloucester officially opened the Heart and Lung Research Institute, a major new addition to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. The institute is a joint venture between the University of Cambridge and Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The institute has set an ambitious target of developing at least ten new drugs or diagnostic approaches for heart and lung diseases within five years. Over 380 researchers and clinicians will be located across various facilities, including the British Heart Foundation Cambridge Centre for Cardiovascular Research Excellence, Cystic Fibrosis Trust Innovation Hub, Wolfson Lung Injury Unit, and a clinical research facility due to open later this year. Press release

Insilico Medicine announced that the company identified multiple unreported potential therapeutic targets for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using its proprietary AI-driven target discovery engine, PandaOmics. The research was in collaboration with Answer ALS, the largest and most comprehensive ALS research project. PandaOmics helped analyze the expression profiles of central nervous system (CNS) samples from public datasets and direct induced pluripotent stem cell-derived motor neurons (diMN) from Answer ALS. As a result, the team identified twenty-eight targets from CNS and diMN samples; suppression moderately or strongly rescued neurodegeneration for 18 targets (64%). Press release

Swiss medtech company Bloom Diagnostics announced the launch of the Bloom Inflammation Test, designed to test for the quantitative measurement and presence of the C-Reactive Protein (CRP) using the Bloom system. Producing accurate results in minutes from a single drop of blood, the Bloom Inflammation Test is a single-use semi-automated testing kit for quantitatively measuring CRP in the bloodstream to detect inflammation in the body. Elevated CRP is a significant marker for broader health conditions and a valuable tool for clinicians. Cloud-based algorithms and artificial intelligence technology aggregate test results with other input information. Fully encrypted feedback appears through a personalized report on the Bloom App after just 20 minutes. Press release

University of Essex researchers are investigating the genetic differences underpinning the higher prostate cancer rates in Black men. The project was funded as part of Prostate Cancer Research’s program addressing the health inequalities in prostate cancer. For example, black men are twice as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than White men and 2.5 times more likely to die from the disease. The researchers will investigate a specific DNA code that only exists in about 50% of Black men, which may increase prostate cancer risk. The project will expand on this to look for other DNA code differences between ethnicities. Press release

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