Company Announcements

In May, Bluebee and MediSapiens entered into a strategic partnership with a tailored end-to-end analytical solution for NGS data by integrating their respective Bluebee and Explorer platforms.

BGI announced in May that the Broad Institute’s GATK Best Practices pipeline will be freely available to worldwide users of BGI Online in China. This includes support of Workflow Definition Language and the Cromwell workflow execution engine in future BGI Online versions.

Xinhua reported in May that BGI and Australia’s Queenland Institute of Medical Research opened a new laboratory, which will use the BGISEQ-500 sequencer.

In May, Golden Helix entered into a multiyear partnership with Sentieon, integrating Sentieon’s secondary analysis tool with Golden Helix software. This allows clinical users to go from a FASTQ to a clinical report.

MolecularMD was named an ArcherDX Certified service provider for ArcherDX’s NGS panels.

In June, Bristol-Myers Squibb and QIAGEN agreed to explore the use of NGS to develop gene expression profiles as a predictive or prognostic tool with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s immune-oncology therapies. The companies, which have worked together since 2009, plan to enter into other agreements to develop diagnostic products.

QIAGEN received in June a license from the Johns Hopkins University for biomarkers that identify patients suitable for immuno-oncology therapies. The agreement involves rights to genetic biomarkers to assess microsatellite instability and mismatch repair in all sample and cell types. By exercising certain option rights, QIAGEN will be able to commercialize tests using NGS for the biomarkers.

In June, ReadCoor, developer of Fluorescence In-Situ Sequencing (FISSEQ), announced a research collaboration with WAVE Life Sciences to create a registry of brain cell network maps and advance WAVE’s nucleic acid chemistry for targeted delivery to the brain. The companies will develop a cell map of the mouse brain.

Diagenode licensed in June a technology specifically for ChIP sequencing using low-input samples, ChiPmentation, from the Austrian Academy of Sciences’ CeMM Research Center of Molecular Medicine.

The University of Debrecen, Hungary and BGI signed a memo of understanding to establish a local NGS sequencing hub for population cohort studies and diagnostic testing, as well as R&D.

Under a partnership agreement, Takara Bio and Formulatrix developed a series of SOPs for miniaturizing reaction volumes in reverse transcription steps of single-cell sequencing workflows. The workflow uses Takara Bio’s SMART-Seq v4 cDNA libraries and Formulatrix’s MANTIS Liquid Handler.

Thermo Fisher Scientific announced in June the FDA premarket approval of the Oncomine Dx Target Test, calling it the first NGS-based test that simultaneously screens tumor samples for biomarkers associated with three FDA-approved therapies for non–small cell lung cancer. The Test evaluates 23 genes simultaneously. LabCorp Diagnostics and Covance Businesses, NeoGenomics Laboratories and Cancer Genetics are among the first labs to offer the Test. Developed in collaboration with Novartis and Pfizer, the Test runs on Thermo Fisher’s Ion PGM Dx System.

In June, Illumina Ventures, with participation from Merck and other investors, awarded SerImmune an $8 million round of financing. SerImmune is developing an immune mapping technology platform and antibody repertoire database.

In June, Cornell University joined the Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, whose members include IBM Research, Mars and Bio-Rad Laboratories, which is conducting a metagenomics study to categorize and understand micro-organisms. Cornell University will help the Consortium create new tools that can help monitor raw milk to detect anomalies that represent food safety hazards and possible fraud.

Swift Biosciences completed a Series D funding in June led by Arboretum Ventures, raising $12.2 million.


Product Introductions

TOMA Biosciences launched in March the COMPASS Tumor Profiling System, a workflow pathway from tumor, library preparation, sequencing, data analysis, clinical annotation and reporting. It includes the TOMA OS-Seq, an oligo selective sequencing capture technology.

In May, Sophia Genetics released its Whole Exome Solution and Clinical Exome Solution, both of which are accessible through Sophia DDM.

In June, Oxford Nanopore released the Direct RNA Sequencing Kit, providing new insights including base modifications, and the PCR cDNA Sequencing Kit for a high-throughput workflow that can generate full-length cDNA for isoform quantification and identification. The new Direct cDNA Sequencing Kit provides a simple workflow.

In June, SeraCare Life Science released the iQ NGS QC Management software v2, which supports whole-workflow data capture. New features include integration with Illumina’s Basespace and LIMS.

In June, Illumina announced that its Extended RAS Panel will beginning shipping in the third quarter. The FDA-approved NGS kit helps clinicians identify which patients are eligible for treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer with Vectibix, and meets several medical societies’ guidelines. The kit, which was developed with Amgen and runs on Illumina’s MiSeqDx System, simultaneously interrogates 56 variants across and KRAS and NRAS genes in order to establish mutant status in a single test.


Sales/Orders of Note

In June, Congenica announced that its Sapientia platform will be used by UniteGene to carry out NGS as part of China’s “100K Wellness Pioneer Project.” This is part of a strategic commercial agreement with Congenica to support UniteGen’s operations in China.

Illumina announced in June that Genomics England selected it as the primary variant interpretation and reporting software venture for tumor and matched normal samples characterized as part of the 100,000 Genomes Project. Genomic England will expand its use of BaseSpace Variant Interpreter for cancer at all NHS Genomic Medicine Centers. A public release of the software will take place this summer.

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