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Illumina Ventures Labs Now Operational, Personalized Medicine Coalition Releases 2024 Plans, Imagine Pharma Forms the Imagine Pharma Foundation, Collaborations, More

By Clinical Research Team 

January 31, 2024 | Illumina Ventures Labs is now operational and finalizing agreements with several startup companies; the Personalized Medicine Coalition has released their Strategic Plan for Advancing Personalized Medicine in 2024; Imagine Pharma announced the formation of The Imagine Pharma Foundation, a private not for profit charitable organization dedicated to advancing metabolic research to significantly impact the lives of those affected by diabetes, with a particular emphasis on serving veterans; several collaborations and partnerships have been formed to tackle trials, studies, and research; more. 

Illumina Ventures Labs is now operational and finalizing agreements with several startup companies. Illumina Ventures Labs is part of Illumina Ventures, the premier genomics and precision health venture firm supporting early-stage companies transforming healthcare and our world. With its extensive sequencing capabilities and state-of-the-art life science technologies from Illumina and Illumina Ventures’ portfolio companies, Illumina Ventures Labs is well positioned to enable early-stage companies to accelerate the time needed to reach their next value inflection point. Press release

The Pistoia Alliance has also published its Identification of Medicinal Products (IDMP) Ontology 1.0 under an open-source license. The Pistoia Alliance plans to support the implementation of IDMP-O across the pharmaceutical sector and is calling for pharma, technology companies, health authorities, and regulators to register interest in dedicated training programs on integrating IDMP-O into workflows. The ontology is already in active implementation at several companies, and was co-developed under the Alliance umbrella by 11 organizations: Bayer, Novartis, GSK, Roche, Merck KGaA, Boehringer Ingelheim, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Amgen, AbbVie, and Pfizer. Contributing project partners also include the EDM Council, ACCURIDS, OSTHUS and Chemantics. Press release.

Saama announced the release of several groundbreaking features within its AI-driven platform, including generative AI chat and interactive review listings, creating an unparalleled, workflow-driven environment for cross-functional collaboration. For the first time, users can ask questions of their data in natural language, and instantly receive responses, eliminating costly data analysis delays. Additionally, data management and medical review teams can now work together in a single system to complete comprehensive data reviews from start to finish. Press release

Phastar has announced the launch of Stats Helpdesk, a new initiative designed to provide biotech companies with free access to its team of expert statisticians. The Stats Helpdesk initiative offers essential support and guidance tailored to address the statistical questions and challenges facing biotech companies. The Stats Helpdesk also functions as a platform for fostering knowledge exchange, enabling biotech organizations to capitalize on the expertise offered by the Phastar team to enhance their statistical capabilities and improve their overall statistical proficiency. Press release

Culmination Bio announced an R&D collaboration with Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, initially in the area of autoimmune disease. Under the terms of the master agreement, Merck will have access to both clinical (Electronic Health Records, labs, medications) and paired biospecimen (tissue and blood) data from several cohorts of various sizes and qualifications. This project-based collaboration leverages Culmination’s unique ability to build both retrospective and prospective deidentified multi-modal datasets in a disease-defined fashion. Press release.  

AtlasXomics and EpiCypher have partnered to develop CUT&Tag kits and assay services for spatial epigenomics applications. These assays will be developed on AtlasXomics’ DBiT-seq platform using CUT&Tag reagents and antibodies from EpiCypher, expanding the spatial ‘omics toolbox to histone post translational modifications (PTMs), transcription factors, and other chromatin regulators. Their long-term goal is to optimize spatial CUT&Tag for formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples, thereby greatly enhancing the versatility of these assays for clinical applications. Press release

CN Bio and Altis Biosystems have announced a strategic partnership. Through this partnership, Altis’ human RepliGut Planar-Jejunum model will be integrated with CN Bio’s PhysioMimix Liver-on-a-chip to create a primary human microphysiological system (MPS), with inter-organ communication to mimic the oral drug administration route. Harnessing both companies’ organ-specific expertise, the MPS provides preclinical researchers with a robust and reliable Gut/Liver model for enhancing the in vitro to in vivo translatability of oral bioavailability studies. Press release

Imagine Pharma announced the formation of The Imagine Pharma Foundation, a private not for profit charitable organization dedicated to advancing metabolic research to significantly impact the lives of those affected by diabetes, with a particular emphasis on serving veterans. The Imagine Pharma Foundation will collaborate with leading research institutions, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare providers, and other non-profit organizations, with a focus on four key areas: advancement of metabolic and diabetes research, increasing access to cutting-edge treatments for veterans and communities in need, supporting other non-profits focused on metabolic research and care and implementing education, and awareness programs on diabetes prevention. Press release

iSpecimen has entered into a pilot program agreement with TriMetis. This agreement aims to establish a strategic partnership between iSpecimen and TriMetis, providing opportunities for iSpecimen, its suppliers and customers to utilize technology solutions from TriMetis. By combining iSpecimen’s global network of suppliers and researchers with TriMetis’ AI-powered, automated digital pathology solutions, this partnership is working to address industry challenges, reduce the risk of errors associated with manual processes and revolutionize tissue assessment for preclinical research. Press release

The Personalized Medicine Coalition has released their Strategic Plan for Advancing Personalized Medicine in 2024. This document outlines PMC’s plans to advance the frontiers of the field by executing on initiatives across the three mutually reinforcing fronts of education, advocacy, and research. Read the 2024 Strategic Plan

Clinical Trial Media has launched Explore Clinical Research. The new online portal enables people worldwide to discover and express interest in clinical trials, learn how to get involved in the research process, and get matched with appropriate studies. This will assist Clinical Trial Media’s part in bringing critical therapies and medical devices to market. Through Explore Clinical Research, Clinical Trial Media seeks to help fill these gaps by making it easier for people unfamiliar with clinical research to find trials they or their loved ones might match with, while also educating them about the process. Press release

Akiram Therapeutics has entered into an agreement with Karolinska University Hospital for the manufacturing of 177Lu-AKIR001, a radiopharmaceutical designed for treating patients with solid tumors. This agreement marks an important step toward the Phase I first-in-human study, which is planned to start in 2024. Karolinska will supply Akiram with services related to the current Good Manufacturing Practice production of the radiopharmaceutical product 177Lu-AKIR001 for human use, along with other related services. The hospital will also establish the radiolabeling of the product and ensure that it is ready for administration to patients with cancer in an upcoming study. Press release

Agepha Pharma and Caristo Diagnostics have collaborated to improve awareness and clinical education about the central role of inflammation in coronary artery disease. The companies will jointly support a series of educational forums among clinicians beginning later this year highlighting the significant new scientific breakthroughs that are radically transforming the traditional approach to heart disease prevention and prediction. They will also selectively support clinical research involving the CaRi-Heart technology for coronary inflammation diagnostics and LODOCO 0.5 mg tablets for therapeutic intervention. Press release

OneMedNet announced a partnership with Beacon Health System to promote new patient care diagnostic and treatment solutions using OneMedNet’s iRWD. Life Science organizations of all types are taking advantage of existing real world data within several product development stages including conceptualization, development, validation, regulatory approval, and post-market surveillance. Press release.

DNAnexus and Ovation have teamed up to help streamline large-scale omics data analysis. The collaboration will initially focus on Ovation’s inflammatory bowel disease omics data, which includes whole genome sequencing and whole transcriptome sequencing on normal and diseased tissues linked to longitudinal clinical data. In the future, the companies plan to extend the collaboration into immunology, oncology, and cardiometabolic therapeutic areas. Press release

Velocity has launched its VISION technology platform to transform the way patients access and participate in clinical trials. Velocity’s VISION technology is intended to unify patient experience and recruitment capabilities across nearly 100 locations globally. The AI-driven platform includes VISION Engage, a patient-focused mobile application that has had 25,000 downloads, and VISION Recruit, an engine that offers patient convenience and scales recruitment through intelligent automation. Press release

CELLphenomics and Charles River Laboratories International announced an agreement that provides Charles River clients with access to CELLphenomics’ proprietary 3D tumor model platform, PD3D, which will expand Charles River’s 3D in vitro testing services to further optimize oncological approaches for its clients. The agreement will also provide CELLphenomics access to Charles River’s genomically annotated and in vivo characterized cancer model database. The merge of both biobanks will significantly increase the translational relevance of the in vitro and the in vivo platforms offered by CELLphenomics and Charles River. Press release

Verisense launched the Verisense Smart Watch, a participant friendly smart watch that provides research-grade data at less than one-tenth the cost of comparable solutions. The Verisense Smart Watch will also become the default data collection device for the Digital Health Panel, Verisense Health’s end-to-end data collection infrastructure. Press release

Fortrea announced an industry partnership with founding members Veeva Systems and Advarra to deliver an integrated patient- and site-centric solution that streamlines the clinical trial experience. Fortrea, Veeva, and Advarra are partnering to offer a seamless, unified technology solution that integrates best-in-class technologies and leverages Fortrea’s process expertise. This will help ease the administrative burden for patients and sites and increase the accessibility of clinical trials for the public. Press release

TrialX has partnered with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to enhance the availability and access to clinical trial information for the Parkinson’s community. Using Fox Trial Finder, individuals interested in participating in research can find personalized results based on their location and health history using an AI-based guided search process. They can also sign up to receive updates from The Michael J. Fox Foundation and alerts regarding future studies for which they may be eligible. Once a study is listed on clinicaltrials.gov with a status of “recruiting,” it will automatically appear on Fox Trial Finder. Moreover, study coordinators and/or investigators looking to manage referrals from potential participants can set up a Fox Trial Finder account. Press release