Find here a listing of the latest industry news in genomics, genetics, precision medicine, and beyond. Updates are provided on a monthly basis.
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News for the month of June 2020
June brought big acquisitions! One of our longtime customer, BlueBee, was acquired by Illumina to unify its data analytics products, while DNAnexus announced a $100M Series G investment round. Check out our interview with Hans Cobben, CEO of Bluebee and now Vice President of Software Platforms and Applications at Illumina, regarding the impact of this acquisition on the future of genomics data analysis and genomics applications in the clinical setting. Additionally, WuXi NextCODE restructured to become Genuity Science, Foundation Medicine acquired Lexent Bio, and Invitae acquired ArcherDX to create a global leader in comprehensive cancer genetics and precision oncology. They will bring germline and somatic testing, liquid biopsy, and tissue genomic profiling onto a single platform to offer patients a full suite of cancer testing for risk, therapy optimization, and personalized cancer monitoring.
This June news update has been sponsored by:
NGS Genomics Platforms
PanCAN selects Seven Bridges for pancreatic cancer research to build a customised, integrated health data platform to accelerate research into pancreatic cancer.
NorthShore makes genomic decision support available in Epic with help from ActX
The health system has expanded its DNA-10K precision medicine program by integrating detailed pharmacogenomic information into its EHR workflows.
Genetic/ Genomic Testing
Recommendations for designing genetic test reports to be understood by patients and non-specialists A set of UK specialists make recommendations that address high-level needs of patients and their non-specialist clinicians when receiving genetic test results.
Digital Health/ Telemedicine
‘I can’t imagine going back’: Medicare leader Seema Verma calls for expanded telehealth access after Covid-19 as virtual visits have increased more than 40-fold in some parts of the country during the past three months.
Telehealth app Babylon Health allowed users to view other patients’ video consultations a data breach reported by a small number of users.
What’s next for healthcare in light of COVID-19 Darryl Jue of Accenture, Amanda Berra of Advisory Board, and Pete Masloski of ZS discuss how healthcare industry leaders must adapt to the forces that will become more prominent in the post-pandemic world.
Hospitals could struggle — and more will go bankrupt — until they get patients back in the door Many hospitals operated with thin margins before the Covid-19 crisis – April was one of the worst months ever for hospital operating margins.
The interface of genomic information with the electronic health record A points to consider statement of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (The ACMG).
It’s Time for a New Kind of Electronic Health Record The Covid-19 pandemic presents the U.S. health care system with a mind-boggling array of challenges.
A robust benchmark for detection of germline large deletions and insertions a Genome in a Bottle SV benchmark paper.
New DNA Sequencing technique may help unravel genetic diversity of cancer tumors Using a microfluidic-droplet-based single cell sequencing method, USC researchers have simultaneously sequenced the genomes of close to 1,500 single cells, revealing genetic diversity previously hidden in a well-studied melanoma cell line.
Why Most Published Research Findings Are False Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. For many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Invitae and ArcherDX to create a global leader in comprehensive cancer genetics and precision oncology The ArcherDX acquisition transaction is valued at ~$1.4B and expected to close in several months, subject to customary closing conditions including approval by the stockholders of Invitae and ArcherDX.
Ranking of the 40 top startup hubs in the world The top five global startup ecosystems remain the same, although with some movement within them. Silicon Valley maintains its #1 position. New York remains at #2, although now London is up and tied with it. Beijing is at #4 and Boston is at #5.
News for the month of May 2020
This month seven Nature papers explore different scientific aspects of the gnomAD data collection which includes more than 140,000 exomes and genomes. genomAD is a critical resource that is used across the globe by clinical researchers and labs to annotate every single, disease causing candidate variant. Years of work went into the creation of the gnomAD database.
This the while COVID-19 is disrupting healthcare and is giving telemedicine a boost – examples include Medicare & Medicaid services’ expansion of coverage of telehealth therapist visits. Additionally, COVID-19 constraints are pushing healthcare organizations to innovate around the consumer.
This May news update has been sponsored by:
COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2
Check out our “COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2” news page for a compilation of latest news and useful information.
NGS Genomics Platforms
Two years in, DRAGEN roars It has been two years since Illumina acquired Edico Genome and its DRAGEN™ technology. DRAGEN is fully integrated with Illumina sequencers, library prep kits, and a comprehensive software suite. This Illumina authored article discusses the details of the integrated, expanded sequencing portfolio.
Fitbit launches large-scale consumer health study to detect a-fib via heart rate sensors, algorithm The effort is looking to enroll 200,000 to 250,000 device owners and will support clinical evaluation and regulatory submissions of the company’s PPG atrial fibrillation algorithm.
Regeneron And Colorado Center For Personalized Medicine announce major new human genetics research collaboration to will sequence 450,000 informed and consenting patients. Sequencing data will be paired with de-identified health records to aid in genomic medicine, drug discovery, and personalized medicine approach.
Precision Medicine Vision Statement created by the Global Precision Medicine Council of the World Economic Forum.
QIAGEN launches QCI Interpret One which combines QIAGEN Clinical Insights solutions with N-of-One services to deliver interpretation of somatic variants in cancer patients.
Apple Heart Study researchers find success in recruitment, struggle with engagement The challenges are engagement. It’s not easy to do this & keep patients involved. You can’t keep sending them notifications & push alerts to remind them to do this in the study.
Tech optimization: Unlocking the promise of precision medicine In this special report, seven experts in personalized medicine – from Accenture, CereCore, Chilmark Research, Deloitte and Orion Health – offer best practices for optimizing technology to help health systems advance innovation.
First CRISPR test for the coronavirus approved in the United States The Sherlock Biosciences developed kit works by programming the CRISPR machinery to detect a snippet of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material in a nose, mouth or throat swab, or in fluid from the lungs. If the virus’s genetic material is found, a CRISPR enzyme generates a fluorescent glow. The test can return results in about an hour.
Digital Health/ Telemedicine
Premera Blue Cross is launching its first-ever virtual primary care plan The virtual primary care plan, dubbed Premera Now, is developed in partnership with primary care telehealth company 98point6. The plan will be available to employers in Washington state starting October 1st.
Meet this super-spotter of duplicated images in science papers Elisabeth Bik quit her job to spot errors in research papers — and has become the public face of image sleuthing.
An interview with Mike Klein, CEO of Genomenon He talks to RARE Revolution about the impact technology is having on diagnosing rare diseases and contributing to drug development, and about the exciting potential that lays ahead.
Years of work went into gnomAD which is now up at Nature 7 peer-reviewed papers explore different scientific aspects of this data collection which includes more than 140,000 exomes and genomes.
New computational method unravels single-cell data from multiple people The methodology called souporcell, for assigning the donor in single cell RNA sequencing experiments, provides an accurate way to unravel data from a mixture of people.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Merck to Acquire Austrian Vaccine Maker Themis Bioscience to enter COVID-19 race Themis has a broad pipeline of vaccine candidates and immune-modulatory therapies developed using its innovative measles virus vector platform based on a vector originally developed by scientists at the Institut Pasteur and licensed exclusively to Themis for select viral indications.
Benchling raises $50M series D to accelerate biotech revolution This brings the total funding to $114M at a valuation of $850M.
News for the month of April 2020
In April, the scientific community worldwide focused on studying COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2 with the goal of finding a treatment and a vaccine. The race for coronavirus vaccines is on with more than 90 vaccines currently being developed in companies and universities across the world, the new Gilead remdesivir data likely show enough for a speedy FDA approval, and the NIH is mobilizing a national innovation initiative (RADx) for COVID-19 diagnostics with a $1.5 billion investment from federal stimulus funding to speed development of rapid and widely accessible COVID-19 testing. COVID-19 news is coming out at such a rapid pace that we are sharing highlights on a dedicated “COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2” news page, while here we report our regular precision medicine and genetics news for the month of April.
COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2
Check out our “COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2” news page for a compilation of useful information.
Protected Health Information filter (Philter): accurately and securely de-identifying free-text clinical notes
The Butte Lab manually deidentified 4500 notes of 100 different kinds (out of 70 million), used 2500 to build and 2000 to test. Two annotators per note. This might be the largest set of deidentified notes disclosed to date.
Google Cloud launches Healthcare API and other solutions for supporting healthcare and life sciences organizations during the pandemic
The API allows healthcare organizations to ingest and manage key data from a range of inputs and systems – and then better understand that data through the application of analytics and machine learning in real time, at scale.
Personalized Medicine Approach May Extend Polygenic Scores to Individuals with Multiple Ancestral Origins
Proposes a method to extend polygenic scores—the estimate of genetic risk factors and a cornerstone of the personalized medicine revolution—to individuals with multiple ancestral origins.
Craig Venter: 20 years of decoding the human genome
The human genome is 99% decoded, the American geneticist Craig Venter announced two decades ago. What has the deciphering brought us since then?
Google will guide users to virtual doctor’s visits through Search and Maps
This will make it easier for consumers to access virtual medical care options, via Search and Maps which will also help doctors get up to speed with phone and video-based consultations.
Liquid biopsy test detects more than 50 cancer types
Grail said results of its Circulating Cell-Free Genome Atlas study show its technology can detect 50 cancer types across all stages with a very low false-positive rate.
Merger and Acquisition
Digital health firms raised record sums before Covid-19 hit
Digital health startups raised a total of $3.1 billion in funding during the first quarter of 2020, according to a report released Monday by Rock Health. But startups face a dramatically different investing climate post-Covid-19.
News for the month of March 2020
In March, the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, reached every aspect and even the most remote corner of our daily lives. We, therefore, have decided to compile a list of relevant news and announcements, developments, and useful links in relation to this viral outbreak on a “COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2” news page.
Also noteworthy this month was that the government released rules aimed at better EHR interoperability, citing that it is vital for information to flow during outbreaks like COVID-19. Epic Systems Corp. had initially opposed the rules but it is not clear yet if the updates made addressed its concerns about privacy and costs.
The COVID-19 situation is rapidly changing. For this reason, we have dedicated an entire page, the COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2 news page, where we list important announcements and resource links pertaining to this virus. We will update this page on a regular basis. Here just a few COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 highlights.
Cryptic transmission of novel coronavirus revealed by genomic epidemiology
An informative piece on genomic epidemiology applied to COVID-19. It is encouraging that we can sequence, share and analyze pathogen data so quickly today.
Over 24,000 coronavirus research papers are now available in one place
The data set aims to accelerate scientific research that could fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
UK launches whole genome sequence alliance to map spread of coronavirus with £20 million investment
COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium – comprised of the NHS, Public Health Agencies, Wellcome Sanger Institute, and numerous academic institutions – will deliver large scale, rapid sequencing of the cause of the disease and share intelligence with hospitals, regional NHS centres and the government.
Blue Shield of California becomes first health plan in the U.S. to cover the cost of rapid whole genome sequencing for critically ill children
Critically ill children, up to age 18, hospitalized in neonatal or pediatric intensive care at any location with an undiagnosed condition may be eligible.
You can learn a lot about yourself from a DNA test. Here’s what your genes cannot tell you
A Time magazine article discussing the pros and cons of genetic testing.
Whole genome sequencing Under GenomeIndia project started
The proposed target of WSG is to do it for 10,000 individuals representing the country’s diverse population.
Mayo researchers recommend all women with breast cancer diagnosis under age 66 be offered genetic testing
A study by researchers at Mayo Clinic published this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology suggests that all women with a breast cancer diagnosis under the age of 66 be offered germline genetic testing to determine if they have a gene mutation known to increase the risk of developing other cancers and cancers among blood relatives.
$100 genome sequencing will yield a treasure trove of genetic data
BGI claims it has created a system that can sequence a full genome for just $100.
Most comprehensive analysis of human genetic diversity to date
A new study has provided the most comprehensive analysis of human genetic diversity to date, after the sequencing of 929 human genomes by scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the University of Cambridge and their collaborators.
Precision medicine: course correction urgently needed
An undeclared civil war is breaking out in biomedicine. On one side is precision medicine, with its emphasis on tailoring treatments to ever-narrower groups of patients. On the other side is population health, which emphasizes predominantly preventive interventions that have broad applications across populations.
New Genomics Clinic Will Enable Preventive Care, Precision Medicine
The Preventive Genomics Clinic at Mass General will provide patients with genetic information and advance precision medicine.
Janssen Taps Digital Biomarker Company Vivante Health for Predictive Disease Modeling
The goal of the collaboration with digital medicine company Vivante Health is to identify and develop digital biomarkers.
Henry Ford Receives $25M Grant to Expand Precision Medicine Program The grant will be used to accelerate its precision medicine program, with the ultimate goal of creating a Precision Health Center.
Data Sharing/ Data Privacy
Gov’t takes steps toward better EHR interoperability
Hospitals and doctors to provide software access points/endpoints to their [EHR] databases so that patients can download these records to their smartphones.
Federal rules impacting Epic Systems Corp., patient data released
The rule requires full exports of patient data, beginning in three years, to patients or hospitals if requested.
Many willing to trade genetic data for compensation, control
More than half of Americans want money and control when companies or organizations use their genetic data, a new study suggests.
Digital Health/ Telemedicine
Coronavirus response could give long-awaited jolt to telehealth
Telehealth may be about to boom as federal officials push doctors to video chat with patients, hoping to reduce stress on hospitals preparing for a flood of coronavirus cases.
Telemedicine companies are struggling to serve ‘extreme volumes’ of patients as coronavirus calls surge
Telemedicine companies are struggling to serve ‘extreme volumes’ of patients as coronavirus calls surge.
Mergers, Partnerships, & Acquisitions
Thermo Fisher is buying Qiagen for $11.5 billion
The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021.
An atlas of the protein-coding genes in the human, pig, and mouse brain
Accessible via the open-access HPA Brain Atlas resource portal which offers the opportunity to explore individual genes and classes of genes and their expression profiles in the various parts of the mammalian brain.
AI finds microbial signatures in tumours and blood across cancer types
Analysis of nucleic-acid sequences from human cancers, along with samples from adjacent tissue and blood, reveals the presence of microorganisms in tumours and blood across cancers.
Tempus raises $100 million in Series G financing at a post-money valuation of $5 billion dollars
The company is using the additional funds to further enhance its operations and continue its expansion into other disease areas, including diabetes, depression, and cardiology.
News for the month of February 2020
The coronavirus, COVID-19, was front and center in February’s news. The Institut Pasteur announced that it has sequenced the whole genome of the Wuhan 2019-nCoV virus, becoming the first institution in Europe to do so. In the hopes of quickly developing a treatment, The University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha has begun an NIH clinical trial of remdesivir to treat COVID-19.
In the cancer genomics space, the Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) Consortium presented the most comprehensive and ambitious meta-analysis of cancer genomes so far. The group sequenced 2,658 whole-cancer genomes from 38 tissues and 1,188 transcriptomes!
This January news update has been sponsored by:
Whole genome of the Wuhan coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, sequenced
Around twenty other sequences of the novel coronavirus genome have been obtained worldwide, and if compared to first sequenced, they are all very close; there is not much diversity in the viruses analyzed, which suggests that coronavirus 2019-nCoV did not need to mutate in order to adapt and spread.
NIH clinical trial of remdesivir to treat COVID-19 begins
Remdesivir, developed by Gilead Sciences Inc., is an investigational broad-spectrum antiviral treatment.
Consumer DNA testing hits a rough patch: Here’s how companies like Ancestry and 23andMe can survive
It’s not all bad news. Both companies have an opportunity to shift their business models away from wellness and ancestry and into the medical sector.
Why DNA tests are suddenly unpopular
23andMe and Ancestry are laying off workers as interest in their DNA tests declines – Privacy concerns and limited utility.
ASHG survey finds americans strongly support human genetics research & potential
Respondents want confidence in data privacy, have some knowledge gaps.
Twist Bioscience secures $140M plus a slew of new DNA partnerships including with SOPHiA GENETICS to offer optimized genomic solutions
The team-ups are working on delivering a new solution focused on data and genomic analysis, with the help of Sophia Genetics, as well as the development of target enrichment tools and library preparation kits through collaborations with GenapSys and Miroculus.
Epic: How a company you never heard off handles your medical records
A CBS story about Epic with a reference to physician burnout but zero discussion about interoperability gaps. Epic should be credited for Epic to Epic data exchange. But the whole problem is Epic to anything else.
Patients with challenging cancers to benefit from genomic sequencing
More than 1000 Victorian cancer patients are set to benefit from real-time genomic testing in the next three years, aiming to improve diagnosis and provide more targeted and effective treatments for cancers of unmet need. The $6M Cancer of Unmet Need Initiative is the first project of a partnership announced last year by University of Melbourne and Illumina.
NHGRI establishes new intramural precision health research program
Program aims to capitalize on growing availability of large-scale genomic and health record data worldwide to advance the science of precision health.
Verana Health aims to organize and analyze doctors’ clinical data sets, whether patients like it or not
If the two-year-old healthcare startup Verana Health has its way it could become the Google for physician generated healthcare data.
Genome India Project: A boon for personalized medicine that mustn’t be misused for origin-tracing
The Genome India Project aims to map the diversity of India’s genetic pool, and “lay the bedrock of personalized medicine.” This will be a collaboration between 20 Indian research institutions with the goal to develop a reference Indian genome using genetic samples from 10,000 persons across India.
The advances of AI in healthcare
In April, NHSX, the unit whose remit is to deliver the digital transformation of the health service, will begin running a new artificial intelligence (AI) lab.
Data Sharing/ Data Privacy
Drugs from bugs: Why Gates, Zuck And Benioff think the next blockbusters will come from inside your gut
Discusses startups that tackle the microbiome such as Finch Therapeutics, Open Biome, Vedanta Biosciences, Vioma, and Axial Biotherapeutics.
How simple blood tests could revolutionize cancer treatment
The latest DNA science can match tumor types to new treatments, and soon, a blood test might be able to detect early signs of cancer.
Boosting cancer research by unlocking genomic data
An interview with Fiona Nielsen, co-founder and CEO of Repositive.
Global genomics project unravels cancer’s complexity at unprecedented scale
A massive international effort has yielded multifaceted studies of more than 2,600 tumours from 38 tissues, generating a wealth of insights into the genetic basis of cancer. The The findings of an unparalleled, decade-long collaboration that explored the entire cancer genome is presented in the Feb 5 journal of Nature in 23 papers.
Unprecedented study yields most comprehensive map of cancer genomes to date
Most comprehensive study of whole cancer genomes to date, improves fundamental understanding of cancer, suggests new directions for diagnosis & treatment – this PCAWG or the Pan-Cancer Project analyzed more than 2,600 genomes of 38 different tumor types.
Gut feelings: Gut bacteria are linked to our personality
Both the gut microbiome composition and diversity were related to differences in personality, including sociability and neuroticism. Sociable people have a higher abundance of certain types of gut bacteria and also more diverse bacteria.
Mergers, Partnerships, and Acquisitions
News for the month of January 2020
2020 kicked off with substantial funding rounds for DNA sequencing technology companies. Omniome, Element Biosciences, Oxford Nanopore, Roswell Biotechnologies, and Single Technologies all received financing to advance their respective NGS technologies with the goal to increase sequencing performance, accuracy, speed, throughput, while making it cost-efficient.
In spite of stellar funding news, there are signs of the direct-to-consumer segment slowing down as noted last year by Illumina CEO Francis deSouza in their summer earnings call. The market turn was mirrored in a DNA test sales decline which resulted in 23andMe announcing layoffs of 100 people. Lastly, Illumina and PacBio have terminated their planned $1.2bn merger after being challenged by anti-monopoly agencies in the US and UK.
This January news update has been sponsored by:
Genetics/ Genomics Testing
23andMe lays off 100 people as DNA test sales decline, CEO says she was ‘surprised’ to see market turn
The signs of a slowdown in the space came last summer when Francis deSouza, CEO of Illumina, noted in its earnings call that the entire segment was down.
23andMe co-founder’s new startup, Precise.ly, brings genomics to India through Narayana partnership
Precise.ly is taking the spin on direct to consumer personalized genomics to India through a partnership with Naryana Health, one of India’s leading specialty hospital networks (24 hospitals serving 2.5 million patients).
Illumina, PacBio scrap $1.2bn merger, citing “continued uncertainty”
Illumina and Pacific Biosciences will “mutually” terminate their planned $1.2bn merger, a deal threatened in recent weeks by anti-monopoly regulatory agencies in the United States and the U.K.
Illumina announces new sequencing system, partnership with Roche and Software Suite to accelerate adoption of genomics
At the Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, CEO Francis deSouza, announced a 15-year, non-exclusive collaboration agreement with Roche, in addition to announcing the NextSeq™ 1000 and NextSeq 2000 Sequencing Systems offering which includes on-instrument integrated informatics for rapid secondary analysis.
Germany joins the 1+Million Genomes Initiative
Germany signed the Declaration “Towards access to at least 1 million sequenced genomes in the EU by 2022”. The Declaration, launched in 2018, established a collaboration mechanism on human genome data aiming to improve disease prevention, allow for more personalised treatments and provide a sufficient scale for new clinically impactful research. Germany is the 21st EU Member State to join this initiative.
Our body systems age at different rates, study finds, pointing to personalized care to extend healthy life
Just as people have an individual genotype, so too do they have an “ageotype,” a combination of molecular and other changes that are specific to one physiological system. Discusses the 106 people Mike Snyder Stanford study published in Nature Medicine.
Read the recent interview with Mike Snyder on our blog.
Pfizer’s big data exec on pharma’s ‘arms race’ to partner with companies like Fitbit, 23AndMe, and others
Pharmaceutical giants are hunting for ways to tap into the data from your smart watch, your sleep tracker, and your genetic tests.
Rise of Robot Radiologists
Quote by Curt Langlotz, Radiology Director at Stanford: “AI won’t replace radiologists, but radiologists who use AI will replace radiologists who don’t.”
Google develops AI to improve breast cancer screenings
In collaboration with the Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre, Northwestern University, and Royal Surrey County Hospital, Google has created an AI model for reading mammograms, which are X-rays of the breast, to help radiologists spot the signs of breast cancer more accurately.
Medicine by machine: Is A.I. the cure for the world’s ailing drug industry?
Discusses companies, such as Deep Genomics, Atomwise, Lantern and their AI approaches to sift through endless archives of biological data to find patterns that would take a human a lifetime to discover.
Precision medicine startup Notable starts trial to test AI platform in blood cancer patients
The ANSWer trial will enroll up to 1,000 patients and follow them for up to a year. A smaller feasibility study conducted with Stanford University and Tempus showed an 84% accuracy rate in predicting patient responses to drugs.
Companies join forces to address urgently needed quality control of CRISPR genome-editing
COBO Technologies and Cardea Bio partner to bring solutions to challenges with the precision of Genome editing. The partners have agreed to co-develop and market a portfolio of CRISPR QC products and services for quality control (QC) of CRISPR research, agricultural, and pre-clinical programs.
MD Anderson acquires cancer immunotherapy manufacturing facility
MD Anderson Cancer Center will purchase Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s manufacturing facility in Houston for $15M. MD Anderson will manufacture Bellicum’s cell therapies programs for clinical trials and early commercial supply at the 60,000-square-foot facility.
Cancer statistics, 2020 – The American Cancer Society announced its latest figures on cancer incidence and mortality
Mortality rates are a better indicator of progress against cancer than incidence or survival rates because they are less affected by biases resulting from changes in detection practices.
The sneaky genius of Facebook’s new preventive health tool
The feature looks likely to fill gaps in care—and to further draw users into Facebook’s ecosystem.
Limited data may be skewing assumptions about severity of coronavirus outbreak
We don’t know what the ratio of severe cases vs. mild cases is which would tell us how bad the coronavirus outbreak truly is.
Three star scientists announce plan to solve biotech’s ‘missing women’ problem
A pledge signed by five venture firms, including Polaris Partners and F-Prime Capital, “to do all in our power to ensure the boards of directors for companies where we hold positions of power are 25% female by the end of 2022.
Discovery of new T-cell raises prospect of ‘universal’ cancer therapy
These newly discovered T-cells are equipped with a new type of T-cell receptor (TCR) which recognizes and kills most human cancer types, while ignoring healthy cells.
Dozens of non-oncology drugs can kill cancer cells
A study testing thousands of medicines in hundreds of cancer cell lines in the lab uncovers new tricks for many old drugs.
Mergers, Partnerships, and Acquisitions
Quest Diagnostics acquires Blueprint Genetics for undisclosed amount
Deal adds platform in gene variant interpretation based on next generation sequencing and proprietary bioinformatics to improve patient care and drug development.
Oxford Nanopore lands £109.5M investment
The deal brings Oxford Nanopore’s total primary investment to around £480 million.
Single Technologies raises $1.6M to develop NGS platform
Single Technologies announced it has raised SEK15 million ($1.6M) to support further development of its next-generation sequencing platform.
Investors poured $4bn into healthcare AI startups in 2019
Up from nearly $2.7bn invested in healthcare AI in 2018 across 264 deals. The surge in funding was led by mega-rounds of financing reaching at least $100M. Babylon Health, a U.K.-based AI chatbot that also links up to provider practices, falls into this category and raised $550M last year.
Alto, a pharmacy start-up, just raised $250M
Alto delivers medications to people’s homes and offices.