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On the cutting edge
May 2019
by Jeffrey Bouley  |  Email the author
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Presented for your technological edification this month: A new digital assistant for researchers from LabTwin GmbH, a new urine-based laboratory-developed test (LDT) for bladder cancer detection, courtesy of Pangea Laboratory and Zymo Research, and a collaboration between Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. and Genovis related to liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS).
 
Voice-powered digital assistant for scientists
 
BERLIN—LabTwin recently launched what it says is the world’s first voice- and AI-powered digital lab assistant, allowing for scientists to take notes, capture data, create supply lists and set timers or reminders from anywhere in the lab just by talking to the product, which shares the company name: LabTwin. The product uses machine learning and voice-recognition technologies to streamline workflow in laboratories around the world.
 
“Digital assistants will free employees up to work on the things that matter most. New forms of interactions such as voice or image recognition, in conjunction with machine learning technology, will push businesses further than ever before,” said Magdalena Paluch, LabTwin CEO and co-founder. “LabTwin has the power to accelerate communication, unleash creativity and increase productivity by unshackling scientists from keyboards, desktops and hard-to-access folder structures. It’s the digital twin always within reach.”
 

Non-invasive, epigenetic-based test for bladder cancer
 
COSTA MESA, Calif.—Pangea Laboratory recently licensed from Zymo a new urine-based LDT for bladder cancer detection. Commercialized and sold under the name Bladder CARE, the test is non-invasive and epigenetic-based.
 
Pangea conducted a preclinical collaborative study with Zymo, in which 182 urine samples were analyzed using Bladder CARE. The cohort consisted of 97 urine specimens collected from bladder cancer patients and 85 healthy control samples. The study showed that Bladder CARE has 93.8-percent sensitivity, 85.9-percent specificity, 88.4-percent positive predictive value and 92.4-percent negative predictive value. The same study also revealed that Bladder CARE has a very high sensitivity, not only for high-grade bladder cancer but also for low-grade cases.
 

Advancing biopharmaceutical characterization and monitoring methods
 
SUNNYVALE, Calif.—Thermo Fisher Scientific and Genovis, a leading provider of enzyme products for biological drug development, have begun a collaborative research project to develop advanced end-to-end workflows for the preparation, characterization and monitoring of novel and complex biotherapeutics using LC-MS.
 
Bringing together Thermo Fisher’s leading LC-MS technology with the advanced enzyme-based sample preparation and analysis techniques of Genovis will reportedly enable the development of robust, automation-ready, magnetic bead and chromatography-based workflows for the streamlined analysis of biotherapeutics. Expertise from Thermo Fisher’s Global Customer Solution Centers will also help Genovis to determine optimal hardware/software configurations and suitable consumables for critical quality attribute analysis of biotherapeutics during the research and development phase.
 
“With the shift toward large biological entities, companies are aiming to bring to market medicines with greater affinity and efficacy, but these medicines also present an additional level of analytical complexity,” said John Rontree, senior director of global marketing and strategy, pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals for Thermo Fisher Scientific. “By collaborating with Genovis, we plan to develop comprehensive workflows that provide robust and advanced solutions for preparing and assessing complex biotherapeutics.”
 
Code: E051930

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