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 January 2021
COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2
- Quest Diagnostics Granted CDC Contract to Sequence COVID-19 Gene Variants to Aid Public Health Response to COVID-19 Large-scale longitudinal genomic survey of the SARS-CoV-2 virus using a random set of samples collected will be performed to understand viral variants and to mobilize an effective response to COVID-19.
- What we now know — and don’t know — about the coronavirus variants It is suggested that the virus variant dubbed B.1.1.7, came from a person who was immunocompromised and had a rare chronic case, essentially providing an incubator for the virus to accrue mutations as it replicated for weeks or months in that person’s body. The virus, the hypothesis goes, then spread from that person to others.
- Illumina and Helix Collaborate to Assess Prevalence of New SARS-CoV-2 UK Variant (B.1.1.7) in the US and Develop National Surveillance Infrastructure
- Devyser receives Eurostars grant to develop novel DNA test for early detection of transplant rejection
- Two Cancer Companies Close Series A Rounds Netting $144 Million
- Elucida Oncology Closes $44 Million Series A-1 Financing
- Delfi Diagnostics Announces $100 Million Series A Financing to Develop a New Class of Early Detection Liquid Biopsy for Multiple Cancers
- NuProbe Closes $42M Fundraising
- Color raises $167 million funding at $1.5 billion valuation to expand ‘last mile’ of US health infrastructure
- Carrum Health Raises $40 Million to Transform Healthcare Delivery and Lower Costs through First-of-Its-Kind Digital Marketplace
Mergers, Acquisitions, and Partnerships
- Guardant Health and Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology Announce Partnership to Establish First Guardant-Based Liquid Biopsy Testing Service in Europe
- Broad Institute and Verily partner with Microsoft to accelerate the next generation of the Terra platform for health and life science research
- UnitedHealth to buy Change Healthcare for nearly $8 billion to boost tech services
- Pharmacogenetic and Genealogy Pioneers Merge for Historic Partnership myDNA and Gene by Gene merge
- Insurer Centene to buy Magellan in a $2.2 billion mental health push
Genomic / Genetic Testing
- OncoDNA announces expansion of its services into the United States
- Ancestry deepens focus on Family History; will discontinue AncestryHealth as per their blog
- Leading Biopharmaceutical Companies Select Invitae to Develop Standardized Panel to Detect Molecular Residual Disease (MRD) in Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
- Tempus Announces Companion Diagnostic Collaboration With A2 Biotherapeutics
- Helix® Laboratory Platform Granted the First and Only FDA Authorization for a Whole Exome Sequencing Platform This marks the first time such a broad, sequencing-based device has been authorized by the FDA.
- Invitae Reports Preliminary 2020 Financial Results of More Than $278 Million in Revenue and More Than 655,000 in Billable Volume
NGS / Genomics Platform
- Pacific Biosciences and Invitae to Develop Ultra-High-Throughput Clinical Whole Genome Sequencing Platform
- Illumina to Offer New Bioinformatics Solution Which Powers Multi-Omics Discovery at Massive Scale This new and integrated bioinformatics solution Illumina Connected Analytics Software provides a private, cloud-based data platform to manage, analyze, and explore large volumes of multi-omic data in a secure, scalable, and flexible environment.
- Two ways Fitbit could boost Google’s health ambitions
- Sharon Begley, path-breaking science journalist who spun words into gold, dies at 64
- President-elect Biden Announces Key Members of his White House Science Team includes Dr. Eric Lander as the Presidential Science Advisor-designate and nominee for Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and Dr. Francis Collins who will continue in his role as Director of the National Institutes of Health.
- QIAGEN Announces Global Distribution Agreement for the COSMIC Database from the Wellcome Sanger Institute
- Strata Oncology Announces Personalized Recurrence Monitoring Trial Study to Evaluate Strata’s Ability to Detect Tumor Recurrence using Liquid Biopsy and Monitor Treatment Effectiveness for Patients with Early-Stage Solid Tumors
- Haven, the Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan venture to disrupt health care, is disbanding after 3 years The move to shutter Haven may be a sign of how difficult it is to radically improve American health care, a complicated and entrenched system of doctors, insurers, drugmakers and middlemen that costs the country $3.5 trillion every year.
- Differences between germline genomes of monozygotic twins
- ‘Incredible’ gene-editing result in mice inspires plans to treat premature-aging syndrome in children In mice with a progeria-causing mutation, a CRISPR cousin corrected the DNA mutation and prevents the heart damage typical of the disease. Treated mice lived about 500 days, more than twice as long as untreated animals.