Switzerland-based Bc Platforms Ltd. has joined forces with Japan’s Riken research institution and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in an international research effort to support development of a precision prediction model to identify those most at risk from COVID-19. Riken and THL play significant roles in Japan and Finland, respectively, in the fight against COVID-19. Bc will collaborate with Riken and THL on their data-led approach to protecting people in the pandemic using its Bc|Insight platform as a data-backbone, to provide the Japanese and Finnish researchers with the data they need to determine predictive procedures to support shielding and treatment of people during this, and future, pandemics.

Cambridge, U.K.-based Dante Labs Ltd. received a £30 million (US$41.21 million) investment in the U.K. to run a global surveillance program of the new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, starting with a hardware and analytical capacity of 50,000 RNA samples per week. As the SARS-CoV-2 virus mutates, few companies have the skills and expertise to offer both RT-PCR molecular diagnostics and full RNA sequencing. In 2020, Dante Labs successfully leveraged its Immensa Genome Platform to support COVID-19 testing at scale, with immediate results.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Digbi Health clinically validated, personalized obesity, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes management program tailored to a person's DNA, gut biome, lifestyle preferences, and ethnicity is now available to Blue Shield of California members on the health plan's Wellvolution platform. Wellvolution was created in collaboration with Solera Health to help consumers holistically manage their health.

Paris-based Echosens SA has teamed up with Gastrologix LLC, of Paoli, Pa., to provide gastrointestinal practices in its group purchasing organization with Fibroscan, a noninvasive device to assess liver health.

Electrocore Inc., of Rockaway, N.J., reported an agreement with Rsk Medical Inc., of Oakville, Ontario, to serve as the exclusive distributor of Electrocore’s Gammacore Sapphire noninvasive vagus nerve stimulator in Canada, supplying therapy to patients suffering from primary headache disorders.

Baltimore, Md.-based Emocha Mobile Health Inc. has secured a $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for a randomized clinical trial to evaluate its medication adherence platform. This latest round brings Emocha’s total NIH funding to $6.1 million since 2016.

Tokyo-based Fuzionaire Radioisotope Technologies K.K. has entered a feasibility study agreement with Nihon Medi-Physics Co. Ltd., of Tokyo, to evaluate the ability of Fuzionaire Dx’s technology to create a new class of positron emission tomography (PET) radiopharmaceuticals.

Gaithersburg, Md.-based Genedx Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bioreference Laboratories Inc., an Opko Health company, launched several new tests, including repeat expansion analysis for spinocerebellar ataxia, Friedreich ataxia and other common forms of hereditary ataxia. With these additions, Genedx now has tests covering most genes involved with pediatric onset and adult-onset ataxia.

Paris-based Nanobiotix SA, reported a new collaboration agreement secured by its subsidiary, Curadigm with Paris-based Sanofi SA focused on that company’s gene therapy pipeline. Pursuant to the selection of a project involving Curadigm’s Nanoprimer technology as an option to significantly improve gene therapy development, Curadigm will enter a one-year agreement with Sanofi inclusive of direct funding and scientific exchanges. The goal of the project is to establish proof-of-concept for the Nanoprimer as a combination product that could improve treatment outcomes for gene therapy product candidates.

Nova Mentis Life Science Corp., of Vancouver, British Columbia, has commenced the diagnostic and treatment phase of its ongoing preclinical model study of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In this model, pregnant rats are exposed to valproic acid and the resultant offspring have ASD behavioral symptoms. The company said it is actively designing human clinical observational study protocols to further confirm its Microbiome Diagnostic Index in ASD. Study designs will be submitted in the U.S., Europe and other regulatory jurisdictions.

Orasure Technologies Inc., of Bethlehem, Pa., said that Chronomics Ltd., of Norwich, U.K., has selected Orasure’s Omnigene Oral (OME-505) saliva collection device as a component of its SARS-CoV-2 PCR test. Chronomics will supply its test for the U.K.’s Test to Release for International Travel program. The Omnigene Oral device is a product of Orasure’s DNA Genotek subsidiary.

Perkinelmer Inc., of Waltham, Mass., said it has joined the European Alliance for Newborn Screening in Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Photocure ASA, of Oslo, Norway, entered a partnership agreement with Asieris Meditech Co. Ltd., a division of China-based Jiangsu Yahong Meditech Co. Ltd. The agreement gives Asieris exclusive rights to register and commercialize Hexvix, a drug that preferentially accumulates in cancer cells in the bladder, in mainland China and Taiwan. Photocure will receive an upfront payment of $750,000, as well as payments of up to $1.4 million for the achievement of certain regulatory milestones. It will manufacture and supply Hexvix, and receive a transfer price from Asieris, representing a markup on product provided under the agreement. Photocure will also receive royalties on product sales.

Qualigen Therapeutics Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., reported a milestone payment of an undisclosed amount from Yi Xin Zhen Duan Jishu (Suzhou) Ltd., of Suzhou, China. Based on a commercialization agreement announced in October 2020, the payment was triggered by the initiation of technology transfer of Qualigen's core Fastpack system, a rapid immunoassay testing system consisting of the Fastpack analyzer and the Fastpack single-use, disposable test pouch.

Soliton Inc., of Houston, said it entered a collaboration with the U.S. Navy to conduct a proof-of-concept clinical study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of multiple treatments with Soliton's Rapid Acoustic Pulse device for the improvement in the appearance of fibrotic scars. The study will be a single-center, prospective trial, examining a maximum of 25 patients.

Soundbite Medical Solutions Inc., of Montreal, reported the first use of its Active Wire 0.014” platform in the successful treatment of patients suffering from critical limb ischemia with heavily calcified below-the-knee chronic total occlusions. The procedures were performed at the Medical University of Graz, Austria.