The patent subject matter eligibility problem has rattled the world of diagnostics for several years, but the U.S. Senate has been silent about legislation in recent months. Patent attorney Michael Borella, of McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP (MBHB), said he does not expect Congress to provide any legislative fix to the problem any time soon.
Salt Lake City-based Co-Diagnostics Inc. has finished the principle design work for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening test for the novel coronavirus that has sickened nearly 3,000 with an acute respiratory illness and killed more than 80 people in Wuhan, China.
Liquid biopsy startup Elypta AB has raised €6.1 million (US$6.72 million) in a late seed financing led by Industrifonden and Sciety. Norrsken Foundation’s newly launched €100 million “impact-first” fund also contributed to the round. The Stockholm-based company plans to use the money to complete development of laboratory kits and software for measurement and analysis of a panel of metabolites it has identified.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – It has never been easy to get payers to reimburse in a timely and adequate fashion for novel diagnostics, making it notoriously difficult to build a business from them. But a few high-flying diagnostics companies, such as Madison, Wis.-based Exact Sciences Corp. and Redwood City, Calif.-based Guardant Health Inc., have been blazing the trail recently on how to rapidly scale up to become valuable commercial entities from origins as a research-based startup.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Just as it does with treatments, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) offers detailed guidelines on genomic testing by cancer type. These are key in determining what physicians can prescribe routinely and what insurers will cover. But those guidelines aren’t followed regularly outside a major research hospital setting, thereby obviating access to tumor genetic information that could help to better guide treatment. Even if current guidelines are followed, physicians and patients can get information back from the tests that neither party is prepared to process.
Unlike with other kinds of cancer, there’s no opportunity for a biopsy ahead of surgery for a suspected brain tumor. To help matters, researchers have developed a novel approach that combines a new, commercially available imaging technology – stimulated Raman histology (SRH) – with an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to offer a diagnosis of brain tumors in just a couple of minutes. They published the results of a study in the Jan. 6, 2020, issue of Nature Medicine that determined their approach was noninferior to standard pathologist interpretation of histologic images.
SAN FRANCISCO – Investor confidence in Exact Sciences Corp. has started to stumble in recent months. The Madison, Wis.-based company’s valuation peaked at about $15.5 billion just a few short weeks after it announced that it would acquire Genomic Health Inc. in late July. Its market cap trajectory has been uneven since and took another hit when the company preannounced 2019 earnings at the J.P. Morgan (JPM) Healthcare Conference, falling to around $13.5 billion.
HONG KONG – South Korean med tech Olive Healthcare Inc. has attracted ₩8 billion (US$6.91 million) in series B funding. The Seoul-based company is focused on abdominal fat scanning and breast cancer diagnosis, using nonradiative and noninvasive near infrared (NIR) technology, artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, and big data processing for a customized medical service.