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Monthly Industry News

Find here a listing of the latest industry news in genomics, genetics, precision medicine, and beyond. We will update and add to this page on a regular basis. This page is not a compilation of all relevant information but rather contains some key highlights that we consider to be of importance to share with the community.

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News for the month of June 2021

COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2

Funding

Mergers & Acquisitions

Precision Medicine

  • NIH’s All of Us Research Program records significant progress in participant diversity and research underway More than 386,000 adults have consented to be part of this landmark initiative with 278,000 adults completing all core initial steps of the program, including answering surveys, allowing access to electronic health records, and sharing bio samples. More than 80 percent of participants come from communities that have been historically underrepresented in biomedical research, making the All of Us dataset one of the largest and most diverse of its kind.
  • Children’s Hospital LA Awarded $2M for Precision Medicine Study Adverse childhood experiences include abuse, neglect, racism, and witnessing economic hardships. These experiences can have negative psychological effects on children. The study will utilize precision medicine techniques to pinpoint biomarkers of early-life stress.

Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning

Liquid Biopsy

CRISPR / Cas9 Genome Editing

Single Cell / Spatial Genomics

Miscellaneous

Publications

  • The emerging landscape of single-molecule protein sequencing technologies This article describes new single-molecule protein sequencing and identification technologies alongside innovations in mass spectrometry that will eventually enable broad sequence coverage in single-cell profiling which will facilitate biological discovery and open new avenues for ultrasensitive disease diagnostics.

News for the month of May 2021

May brought interesting funding rounds:  Causaly raised $17M (Series A), Bluestart Genomics $70M (Series C), GenapSys $70M (Series D), while Singular Genomics is seeking an IPO and Ginkgo Bioworks is coming to market via a SPAC. Additional May highlights included: ACMG has released an updated policy statement and gene list for the reporting of secondary findings (SF)Aetion, Flatiron Health, IQVIA, Syapse, and Tempus launched a RWE alliance, and the Senate weighs investing $120 Billion in Science to bolster the United States’ ability to compete with China.

COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2

Funding

Mergers & Acquisitions

Precision Medicine

CRISPR-Cas9 Genome Editing

Genomic / Genetic Testing

Single Cell / Spatial Genomics

Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning

RWE / RWD

Miscellaneous

Publication

News for the month of April 2021

Some of the April highlights included: Israel’s COVID deaths hit zero with almost 60% of its population being vaccinated; the FDA and CDC lifted the recommended pause on J&J COVID vaccine use following thorough safety review after a two weeks pause due to safety concerns; Illumina filed action for annulment of European Commissions’ decision asserting jurisdiction to review the acquisition of GRAIL; and Geisinger was awarded $3.6M to study genetics of cancer.

COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2

Funding

Mergers & Acquisitions

Precision Medicine

NGS / Genomics Platforms

CRISPR-Cas9 Genome Editing

Genomic / Genetic Testing

Liquid Biopsy

Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning

Miscellaneous

Publications

News for the month of March 2021

The March highlights were across all areas of genomics and precision medicine and included: Spatial transcriptomics taking – yet again – center stage at the annual AGBT conference; the FTC challenging Illumina’s proposed acquisition of cancer detection test maker GrailInsightful Science acquiring Dotmatics (the deal is valued at $690M USD); Roche acquiring GenMark Diagnostics in a $1.8B deal; the SEC charging uBiome co-founders with $60M fraud; and machine learning-driven drug discovery and development raising $400M (Insitro Series C round).  

COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2

Funding

Mergers & Acquisitions

Precision Medicine

CRISPR-Cas9 Genome Editing

Spatial Transcriptomics

Real-World Data / Real-World Evidence

Liquid Biopsy

Miscellaneous

Publications

News for the month of February 2021

February brought on an interesting series of SPACs in the genomics sector – if you are not familiar with this term, it means Special Purpose Acquisition Company which translates into a company going public via a merger. 23andMe, Nautilus Biotechnology, and Sema4 all went public via a SPAC. 23andMe merged with Virgin Groups VG Acquisition Corp [the business combination values 23andMe at an enterprise value of ~$3.5B], Nautilus Biotechnology merged with Arya Sciences Acquisition Corp III [the combined company is expected to receive proceeds of approximately $350M at the closing of the transaction], while Sema4 combined with CM Life Sciences [the combined company is expected to receive proceeds of up to ~$793M at the closing of the transaction, up to $343M of which will be paid to Sema4 stockholders and the remainder of which will be utilized by Sema4 for its business to be operated under the same Sema4 management team].

COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2

Funding

Mergers & Acquisitions

Precision Medicine

Genomic / Genetic Testing

NGS / Genomics Platforms

Liquid Biopsy

Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning

Immunotherapy

CRISPR-Cas9 Genome Editing 

Miscellaneous

Publication

News for the month of January 2021

During the month of January, attention was primarily directed towards the new SARS-CoV-2 variants (especially the ones that emerged from the U.K., South Africa, and Brazil). We’ve learned that these new variants have been more transmissible compared to the original virus, resulting in greater danger of risk of higher numbers in hospitalizations and deaths. In hopes of expanding the country’s surveillance to detect and characterize emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 Illumina and Helix started a collaboration to augment national surveillance infrastructure, while Quest Diagnostics was granted a CDC contract to sequence COVID-19 gene variants to identify new mutations and patterns of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

Other notable developments include announcements that took place during the JP Morgan Healthcare conference, such as the multi-year PacBio-Invitae collaboration to develop a production-scale, high-throughput clinical whole genome sequencing platform leveraging the power of PacBio’s HiFi sequencing technology, as well as Illumina’s launch of Illumina Connected Analytics (ICA), a cloud-based platform for multi-omics data exploration, coupled with machine learning, and tertiary analysis tools which harnesses the DRAGEN Bio-IT Platform (acquired in 2018) and BlueBee technology (acquired in 2020). 

COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2

For more in-depth reading, our compiled COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 news page lists selected coronavirus/COVID-19 news.

Funding

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Partnerships

Precision Medicine

Genomic / Genetic Testing

NGS / Genomics Platforms

CRISPR-Cas9 Genome Editing 

Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning

Microbiome

Miscellaneous

Publications

Following are archived industry news

Industry News – 2020

Industry News – 2019

Industry News – 2018

Industry News – 2017

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