Clinical OMICS

NOV-DEC 2018

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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6 Clinical OMICs November/December 2018 News Rady Children's Brings Newborn WGS Pilot to CA Hospitals Looking to spread the success it has achieved in fast genomic screening of se- verely ill newborns, Rady Children's Hos- pital–San Diego is using $2 million from Medi-Cal to launch Project Baby Bear, a pilot project with four California hospitals to offer rapid whole genome sequencing (WGS) for critically ill newborns. Since 2016, the hospital—under the guidance of Stephen Kingsmore, M.D.— has sequenced nearly 1,200 children. More than one-third (34%") received a genomic diagnosis enabling physicians to make life-changing adjustments in care for 70% of those diagnosed. "Here at Rady Children's, we've seen that using whole-genome sequencing to diagnose and guide the care of ba- bies hospitalized with rare diseases is reducing suffering and infant mortality, decreasing hospital stays, and health- care costs," said Kingsmore, president and CEO of Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine. "It's our belief that rapid whole-genome sequencing should become a first-line diagnostic test and standard of care in neonatal intensive care units everywhere." n Gene Study Shows Why Skin of Older People Scars Less Dermatologists and plastic surgeons have long observed that older people's wounds heal with thinner scars. Now, a new study has exposed the role of a blood-borne stromal factor in scarring, suggesting that suppression of this factor, which is expressed by the SDF1 gene, could improve tissue regeneration. SDF1 is a signaling molecule previously shown to play a role in scar formation in the skin, liver, and lung. Working with model mice of different ages, the scientists narrowed in on SDF1 after observing lack of scarring of pierced ears of the older mice compare to the younger mice, then examining the gene expression signatures in both their tissue and blood. "This is a rare instance where aging actually improves the body's ability to heal rather than diminishing it," says Thomas H. Leung, M.D., Ph.D., at UPenn School of Medicine. "When we're younger, we secrete more SDF1 into the bloodstream to form scars, but as we age, we lose this ability, which allows tissue to regenerate." n Predicine, Flagship Launch I-O Biomarker Partnership Predicine and Flagship Biosciences an- nounced they will partner to provide complimentary and comprehensive bio- marker profiling for immuno-oncology clinical trials. The collaboration will com- bine Predicine's GeneRADAR molecular insights platform with Flagship's artifi- cial intelligence-enabled computational tissue analysis (cTA) digital pathology platform, with the goal of offering an in- tegrated molecular and contextual tissue biomarker solution for their pharmaceuti- cal customers. Predicine and Flagship reason that us- ing multiple diagnostic approaches offers greater opportunities for understanding patient-specific response to immuno-on- cology therapies. "We believe this alliance will greatly benefit our biopharma clients and is a fur- ther step in Predicine's goal to provide a comprehensive blood- and tissue-based biomarker profiling in support of glob- al clinical trials, especially in the immu- no-oncology space," said Shidong Jia, M.D., Ph.D., Predicine founder and CEO. n altrendo images / Getty Images mkl / Getty Images nycshooter / Getty Images

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