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News And Products At The 2017 Next Generation Diagnostics Summit

August 15, 2017 | More than 1,000 international diagnostic professionals will be in attendance this week at the Next Generation Diagnostics Summit in Washington, D. C. The summit, taking place August 15-18, will cover diagnostics challenges, solutions, and advances. Here are just a few of the highlights of products and news that will be exhibited during #NGDx17.

Quanterix today announced it will be expanding its single molecule array, or Simoa, technology platform portfolio to include the new Quanterix SR-Plex benchtop instrument. In the same way that the fully automated HD-1 Analyzer offers detection and measurement of biomarkers with unprecedented sensitivity, the SR-Plex will use single molecule measurements to assess previously undetectable proteins and can significantly reduce sample volume requirements when compared to alternative approaches, all in a benchtop format that can be easily integrated with existing automation platforms. The new platform will also be capable of measuring nucleic acids with ultra-sensitivity, without utilizing polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The first unveiling of the SR-Plex will happen today at the Next Generation Diagnostics Summit. 

Covaris is launching the LE220 Focused-ultrasonicator, a versatile system engineered for high throughput pre-analytical sample processing by Adaptive Focused Acoustics. The LE220 utilizes a unique line-shaped transducer and computer controlled electronics to deliver highly controlled acoustic energy to the focal zone. The LE220 Focused-ultrasonicator delivers the same reproducibility as the renowned S-Series and E-Series AFA Instruments. Covaris is also launching their new truXTRAC FFPE total NA Kit, which Covaris provides fast and simple extraction of both DNA and RNA from a single FFPE sample. Covaris’ truXTRAC process generates the highest quality and yield of RNA and DNA from any FFPE sample, including challenging patient samples, making it the ideal choice for downstream NGS applications. Covaris FFPE extraction produces long DNA and RNA fragment lengths with high amplificability, and has been shown to be particularly effective with small sample inputs. The truXTRAC FFPE total NA Kit also provides a greatly simplified extraction workflow with minimal hands-on time. Covaris’ AFA technology enables a simple, hands-free deparaffinization process without the use of harmful organic solvents making Covaris the easiest to use FFPE extraction kit on the market. With an easy workflow that produces high quality DNA and RNA yields, the Covaris truXTRAC FFPE total NA Kit represents the new gold standard for total nucleic acid extraction from FFPE.

Aptagen’s “No Capturing. No Washing. Just READ” assay is a radical advancement in diagnostic technology. Aptagen has developed a sensitive diagnostic platform that can detect virtually any target or antigen (from small molecules to protein biomarkers and cells) in a variety of sample matrices. Unlike current diagnostic formats, such as the traditional ELISA method and the more recently popular Luminex approach, Aptagen’s apta-beacon assay eliminates the need for multiple target manipulation steps. The apta-beacon platform requires neither capturing nor washing of sample(s), streamlining the analysis to quickly provide results with higher sensitivity.

SeraCare has released Searseq ctDNA. Circulating tumor DNA detection has great potential to complement invasive biopsies for cancer patients. Emerging clinical applications for ctDNA including guiding therapy, monitoring resistance over the course of therapeutic treatment, monitoring relapse post-therapy, and possibly screening for early detection. As a circulating biomarker, this non-invasive method of detecting important changes in the cancer genome is positioned to revolutionize cancer analysis and treatment.

Redbud Labs has released MXR, a microfluidic chip that accelerates molecular assays by up to 10x. Designed specifically for diagnostic consumables, MXR can be added to virtually any cartridge design. MXR is a microfluidic mixer. It delivers rapid but gentle agitation that can improve reaction kinetics, decrease variability, and simplify cartridge design. For life science assays, microfluidic mixing is a pervasive challenge that has been studied extensively in research labs. MXR is the first mixing method that was designed for real-world diagnostic consumables.

Cofactor Genomics introduces Paragon, a novel assay for profiling the tumor and tumor microenvironment for immune-oncology applications. Cofactor Paragon reports on the cellular components of the tumor micro-environment. 32 cell types are reported and provide valuable insight in studies aimed at understanding how the micro-environment and the immune activity plays a key role in efficacy of treatment.

Almac Group’s Diagnostics business unit announced the Journal of European Urology has published results relating to its Prostate Cancer Metastatic Assay. The publication demonstrates the assay can be used to analyse primary prostate cancer FFPE samples to identify a molecular subgroup with a high risk of developing distant metastases. The assay therefore has the potential to guide the choice of therapy for patients presenting with primary prostate cancer.

Agena Bioscience introduced new targeted research panels for the detection of somatic mutations from lung and colon cancers. The UltraSEEK Lung and Colon Panels enable detection of mutations as low as 0.1% minor allele frequency (MAF) from circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). The iPLEX HS Lung and Colon Panels enable detection of mutations as low as 1% MAF from solid tumor tissue. The new panels are now commercially available worldwide.

Microbial fuel contamination testing company Conidia BioScience has joined forces with specialists in smartphone test reader technology, Novarum DX, to develop a new mobile app to improve testing for microbial fuel contamination. Requiring only a droplet of water in fuel to thrive, microbial growth has the potential to cause severe disruption and millions in lost revenue. Aircraft and fuel storage tanks can be severely damaged or rendered out of operation, while the issue also carries significant danger to safety - to flight passengers, for example - alongside environmental risks.