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XtalPi,, Thermo Fisher Scientific, And More: News From October 2018

October 31, 2018 | October featured news, products, and partnerships from around the diagnostics community from numerous companies, universities, and organizations, including XtalPi,, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and more.

England’s National Health Service (NHS) believes patients could benefit from faster access to treatment under 2 new programs. The programs will identify innovative technologies and treatments then speed up their uptake across the NHS. $9 million in funding has been announced for “Test Bed” projects across England that will help improve patient outcomes and the way NHS staff work. The second wave of the Test Beds program will take place in 7 locations across the country. Projects being tested include: the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver a more accurate and efficient breast cancer screening, a new digital platform to help people to manage diabetes, and the combination of 3 new digital technologies to help reduce A&E admissions for patients with chronic long-term heart failure. A further $2.5 million will be available for “rapid uptake” products. These are 7 proven innovative technologies that help to improve patients’ lives. The “rapid uptake” products include a range of treatments for conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and multiple sclerosis. The focus is on overcoming barriers to make their use across the NHS more widespread. Through the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC), leaders in the health system have identified these products so that UK patients benefit from the world-class health innovations developed in the country first. Press release

XtalPi announced a Series B-1 extension financing of $46 million to support XtalPi's continuous market growth and expand the application of its technology into new areas of pharmaceutical research. The new investment, led by China Life Healthcare Fund and with participation from SIG and Yael Capital, will add to the original Series B round of $15 million closed in January 2018 backed by Sequoia China, Google, and Tencent, and bring XtalPi's total fund raised to over $66 million. "XtalPi has gained approval and endorsement from pharmaceutical clients as we continue to help them cut cost, time, and risk in pharmaceutical research," Shuhao Wen, Co-founder and Chairman of the Board at XtalPi, said in a press release. "For the next step, we want to open our base solution platform to support other developers of drug research and development algorithms. Through this, we will help global pharmaceutical companies connect with a wide range of the latest AI research tools in an easily accessible way, and thereby further improve the efficiency of drug discovery and development." Press release recently conducted the largest-ever clinical trial using AI to evaluate chest x-rays. The trial was on more than 1M x-rays, with the results proving that the AI was over 90% accurate. The results of this trial are being published in The Lancet, one of the world’s leading medical journals. This will be the first-ever article/study on AI in The Lancet and the first-ever AI deep imaging company to be included in the journal, indicating a major advancement for the future of AI In healthcare. The results of the study were previously published on Cornell University's online distribution system for research, (DOI:

Thermo Fisher Scientific announced that it has CE-IVD marked its next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based solution that screens biomarkers across solid tumors. Oncomine Dx Target Test is CE marked as an in vitro diagnostic for detection of 46 cancer-driver gene variants. All biomarkers on the panel are associated with approved and investigative targeted therapies in solid tumors. It is also validated as a companion diagnostic (CDx) for approved therapies in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Oncomine Dx Target Test, which received approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a CDx for NSCLC in 2017, is designed to return results with as little as 10 nanograms of nucleic acid. This is a critical advantage that helps reduce the risk of sample depletion and the need for additional invasive biopsies. While the single biomarker testing approach can take weeks to match patients with the right treatment, data from Oncomine Dx Target Test can be obtained in as little as four days to help expedite tumor profiling and therapy selection. Press release

Almac has launched claraT - a unique software-driven solution, classifying biologically relevant gene expression signatures into a comprehensive, easy-to-interpret report. The claraT report will benefit BioPharma and Academic biomarker discovery and translational research. Clients are provided with an interactive report that allows the easy visualization of the key discriminating biologies within both the study cohort and an individual tumor sample. claraT classifies relevant published gene expression signatures, alongside Almac’s own proprietary assays and single gene targets linked to multiple key biologies, according to the well-established 10 Hallmarks of Cancer. The claraT report is a pan-cancer solution generated from raw gene expression data, utilizing Almac’s RNA-Sequencing Service. The claraT report classifies using the Hallmarks of Cancer for easy interpretation. Initial launch content includes 35 gene expression signatures and 30 single gene drug targets (in addition to other biology linked genes). The first three featured hallmark biologies included are: immuno-oncology (IO), epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and angiogenesis. Almac will continue to expand the claraT report by developing content to ultimately cover all 10 Hallmarks of Cancer. Press release

Savonix and Tucker Medical announced a partnership to provide access to the Savonix Cognitive Assessment platform as part of its clinical offerings. This partnership is built on a shared understanding that each patient is unique and should be treated based on their individual health needs, with the ultimate goal and vision to help improve preventive care and oncology treatment in Singapore. Tucker Medical, with its Personalized Medicine services, conducts baseline screenings across multiple areas of a person’s health. The Savonix Cognitive Assessment platform will be used to generate a baseline and ongoing assessment across a broad spectrum of cognitive function, including working memory, attention, executive function, and processing speed. “We are excited to bring affordable and efficient cognitive testing to Singapore and are pleased to partner with the team at Tucker Medical who share our belief that cognitive health plays a vital role in overall health,” Mylea Charvat, CEO and Founder of Savonix, said in a press release. “Savonix will be a great asset to Tucker Medical’s oncology program. During and after chemotherapy treatment, it is common for patients to experience ‘chemo-fog’, a type of mental cloudiness that impairs memory and concentration. Savonix can be used to track cognition and provide insights for intervention and personalized approaches to care.” Press release

In the September 2018 issue of Rheumatology, published by the British Society of Rheumatology, Chaim Putterman, a professor of Medicine at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y., and his colleagues found that Immunarray’s SLE-key results remain stable in lupus patients but that in some patients’ serological signatures may change over time, suggesting changes in the disease state in this subset of patients. Their new findings indicate that SLE-key can be used to identify patients who have a change in their immune signatures. As new data and new science continues to demonstrate the value of the platform, the company is moving to expand its capabilities beyond its initial focus on lupus.  Its soon-to-be-announced Al-key will employ the iCHIP in the identification of patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases. Based on initial data, ImmunArray is also harnessing the technology in the diagnosis of cancer. Press release

BioIVT announced that it has acquired Clinical Trials Laboratory Services (CTLS). CTLS provides dedicated high-quality serum, plasma and blood collection services. It also offers full-service cell processing capabilities on site. All CTLS employees will join BioIVT and CTLS' London headquarters will become the primary site in Europe for donor collections. This acquisition increases BioIVT's capacity to produce fresh peripheral blood mononuclear cells and other immune cell subsets such as natural killer cells, B cells, and T cells to meet clients' research needs. It also enables BioIVT to ship fresh blood and blood-derived products to researchers anywhere in Europe within 24 hours. Financial details about this transaction were not disclosed. Press release

INmune Bio announced that it has been named on the final shortlist of 10 companies being considered for U.S. Private Company of the Year by Lifestars Awards, an organization in association with investment banking firm Jefferies that recognizes leaders in life sciences. INmune Bio is providing a solution to important problems in immunotherapy. The company has two products: INB03, which is in a Phase 1 clinical trial, and INKmune, which will be in the clinic early next year. Both products reprogram cells of the patient’s innate immune system, enlisting the often-ignored half of the immune system in the battle against cancer. By targeting innate immunity and the immunosuppressive environment of the TME, INmune Bio’s novel approach to cancer immunotherapy should take the brakes off the immune system and may help solve the resistance to immunotherapy that has frustrated advancement in the field. Press release