January 31, 2022 Intelligence: Late-Breaking Lab News

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DNA-based breast cancer testing is taking a step forward. Illumina in San Diego, which sells next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, announced a partnership with Agendia in Irvine, Calif., to develop in vitro diagnostic tests for oncology. Agendia offers proprietary breast cancer tests. The companies expect Agendia’s MammaPrint test to become the first decentralized, NGS-based breast cancer risk test cleared by the FDA. A decentralized screening program refers to an approach for which the testing and interpretation are left to the testing company, but follow-up and treatment decisions fall to the referring oncologist. 

MORE ON: Agendia

On Oct. 28, 2021, Agendia filed with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commision to become a traded company through an initial public offering (IPO). The company hopes to raise $75 million in its IPO but did not list a date for the offering, according to its filing. Agendia was founded in 2003 and operates facilities in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Irvine, Calif.

ACLA: LAB STAFFING WOES AFFECTING LAB TEST CAPACITY

The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) noted that staffing issues related to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic are affecting the industry’s capacity to turn around tests. It’s not just lab employee illness with COVID-19 that is straining rosters; additionally, the time it takes to bring on temporary staff and train them is reducing capacity limits, according to a statement from the ACLA. Competition from other healthcare sectors for those temporary workers is also a factor.

OLD WINDOWS IOS MAY BE IOT RISK 

Old versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system may be putting laboratory internet-of-thing (IoT) systems at risk, according to a new report from Cynerio, a healthcare IoT security platform vendor. More than 50% of devices in oncology, pharmacology, and medical laboratory departments run on versions older than Windows 10. Some of those software versions may no longer be updated, putting the equipment and data in them at risk of cyber attacks, the company said.

TRANSITIONS

Robin Divine was named President and CEO of TriCore Reference Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M. Divine has been with TriCore as Chief Strategy Officer and a Director since 2019, and before that held various executive roles during a 17-year run at Presbyterian Health Services. 

That’s all the insider intelligence for this report. Look for the next briefing on Tuesday, February 22, 2022.

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