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laboratory informatics News


Canada’s Segal Cancer Centre at the Jewish General Hospital and Q-CROC (Quebec-Clinical Research Organisation Consortium) have selected IDBS’ Translational Science Solution. IDBS will provide a support for its personalised medicine programme. The centre is redefining cancer as a collection of rare diseases, each with its own molecular signature. This has created a strategic need to employ a structured data approach so as to alleviate any analysis bottlenecks that are sometimes associated with translational research. The solution will be used to

support a programme across Quebec that prospectively collects details of primary tumours. This system will be used to track patients throughout their cancer treatment. The system is designed to build a vast bio bank and accompanying database to easily identify and access patient sub-groups and support patient stratification in drug development. Scientists conducting serial biopsy trials, initially with breast cancer, melanoma and colorectal cancer patients, will use the IDBS software to capture molecular signatures for omics data profiled from patients’ metastatic cancer tumours. This will help scientists to understand cancer subtypes and their characteristics and to determine the molecular signatures of therapeutic resistance to specific treatments. When patients’ tumours present a specific ‘signature’, treatments can then be targeted to match specific proteins to improve patient outcomes and also help them avoid accruing needless toxicity.


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Dassault to acquire Accelrys

assault Systèmes, which provides 3D engineering design software and product lifecycle management (PLM)

solutions, is to acquire Accelrys, which produces software for chemistry, biology, and materials science. With a price-tag of $750 million, the valuation of the company has surprised some industry observers. However, during a Dassault press call on 30 January, Max Carnecchia, chief executive officer and president of Accelrys, said: ‘We believe we have created an important, valuable and unique company, and we are very excited about the prospects of coming together with Dassault.’ Interest from other parties may have influenced the $750 million

valuation of the company. Until this move, Dassault Systèmes had not been much involved in the informatics market that Accelrys aims so many of its products.

Accelrys has been a serial acquirer in its own right, and over the past two years has bought several companies and products including: Vialis; ChemSW; Aegis Analytical Corp; Hit Explorer Operating System (HEOS) from from Scynexis; VelQuest; and Qumas.

‘Leveraging the great Accelrys assets, we will deliver a unique and unmatched scientific PLM solution,’ said Bernard Charlès, president and CEO, Dassault Systèmes. Charlès went on to say: ‘Our ambition is to offer solutions in all

areas of bio sciences, where we want to be leader.’ There is a clear overlap between

the products that Accelrys offers to the aerospace industry, principally Materials Studio and Pipeline Pilot, and the type of products that Dassault Systèmes has typically been interested in.

However, this acquisition may herald some disruptive competition within the informatics sector, if a company with the resources that Dassault can command dovetails all its software products together to achieve its stated leadership in biological sciences. Dassault has recently acquired US-based software developer Apriso as well as Realtime Technology, a provider of 3D visualisation software.

NHS trust uses Matrix LIMS to record ‘fridge occupancy’

Autoscribe, a provider of informatics software, has announced its Matrix Tracker LIMS has been chosen by The Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Trust in the UK.

The Matrix Tracker system is a configurable, expandable tracking system designed to enhance compliance, providing improved traceability and accountability. It is also used to track each item (or person), by positively identifying the current item location, owner and chain of custody. With the software, there is the opportunity to expand and link to other systems, and it can easily be upgraded to full LIMS functionality.

It is essential to accurately record ‘fridge occupancy’ at the mortuary to improve the efficiency at which the trust operates, and to ensure that there is no occasion where there are


no spare fridges available to hold bodies arriving at the mortuary. It is also important to keep track of the bodies to ensure they are moved on as quickly as possible and that each body is sent to the correct location when they leave.

The system allows the tracking of pathology samples that have been taken before arrival at the mortuary along with tissue release wishes and the religion of the deceased, if required, to comply with HTA recommendations.


Inspec, the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s database of science and engineering research, has indexed its 14 millionth record, highlighting the IET’s commitment to making high-quality scientific and technological intelligence easily available.

Inspec says the record

represents an important piece of research. The paper, Transmission of acoustic emission in bones, implants and dental materials, examines the potential for using acoustic emission (AE) and ultrasound to inspect implant interface and fixity, and to passively monitor implants. The findings shed new light on the transmission of AE energy through bone and dental materials, which was dependent on hydration.

@scwmagazine l

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