Asuragen Inc., of Austin, said it has developed an Armored RNA Quant SARS-CoV-2 Control for use in developing assays in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The SARS-CoV-2 Control targets the SARS-CoV-2 viral nucleocapsis region, together with Asuragen’s RNAse P tool, aligns with the CDC and World Health Organization recommended diagnostic panel (CDC-006-00019) to ensure reliable testing for COVID-19.

Irvine, Calif.-based Axonics Modulation Technologies Inc. said it has filed seven petitions with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office seeking inter partes review of the validity of each of the patents Medtronic plc maintains are infringed by Axonics. The filing challenge the validity of Medtronic’s ‘756, ‘314, ‘069, ‘758, ‘147 and ‘112 patents.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in Israel, has created a multidisciplinary scientific task force to respond to the threat of COVID-19. As part of the effort, Ben-Gurion University will divert some of its research, development and project budgets to relevant issues around the crisis, ranging from biomedical to economics, food supply, social behavior and more.

Austin-based Closedloop.ai reported the release of the CV19 Vulnerability Index, an open source, artificial intelligence-based predictive tool to identify individuals at high risk of severe complications from COVID-19. The index is available immediately on Amazon’s Sagemaker platform and via Closedloop.ai’s HIPAA-compliant hosted platform.

Curetis NV, of Holzergerlingen, Germany, said it has started offering a real-time PCR test kit for SARS-CoV-2 in Europe. The kit was developed and is produced by Curetis’ strategic partner BGI Group, of Shenzhen, China, and cleared by Chinese regulators in January of this year. It received CE-IVD approval on Feb. 28.

Earlysense Ltd., of Ramat Gan, Israel, and Woburn, Mass., said its contact-free, continuous monitoring system is one of the strategic medical technologies being used by Israel's Sheba Medical Center to help protect staff while monitoring isolated patients suspected of coronavirus exposure. The sensor, placed under the patient's mattress, transmits real-time patient data for the early detection of clinical changes to a display outside of the patient's room. The system tracks respiratory rate, heart rate and movement.

Nuprobe Global, a molecular diagnostics company based in Shanghai and Suzhou, China, and Houston, Texas, is collaborating with Qiagen NV, of Hilden, Germany, to develop next-generation sequencing-based liquid biopsy tests for cancer diagnosis. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will explore integrating Nuprobe’s Blocker Displacement Amplification technology and Qiagen’s Single Primer Extension technology, for accurate and affordable analysis of DNA mutations with very low variant allele fractions and to advance noninvasive cancer genome profiling.

Paragonix Technologies Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said Adventhealth, of Orlando, Fla., has adopted the Paragonix Sherpapak cardiac transport system for the preservation of donor hearts for transplantation.

Precheck Health Services Inc., a Denison, Texas-based distributor of medical screening devices, reported its third distribution agreement for Co-Diagnostics’ Logix Smart Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Test Kit. Pursuant to this agreement with Co-Diagnostics Inc., of Salt Lake City, Precheck’s subsidiary Health Tech Innovation Systems Inc., of Panama City, will distribute the COVID-19 RT-PCR test and Co-Dx Box in Panama. This agreement follows the execution of exclusive distributions agreements with Co-Diagnostics for Russia and Ecuador.

Sotera Wireless Inc., of San Diego, said it was awarded a breakthrough technology group purchasing agreement with Premier Inc., of Charlotte, N.C., in the Physiological Monitoring System Category. Effective March 1, 2020, the new agreement allows Premier members, at their discretion, to take advantage of special pricing and terms prenegotiated by Premier to purchase Sotera's Visi Mobile system, which enables continuous surveillance monitoring of patients during their hospital stays. The agreement was facilitated by Healthcare Links.

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