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Technical Director,
Weck Laboratories

Product Manager, PCR and qPCR Reagents,
Agilent Technologies

Surveillance analysis of potentially pathogenic microbes found in shared public resources is an important component of research aimed at understanding, preparing for, and protecting communities from potential widespread infection and transmission of infectious diseases. For example, wastewater testing for SARS-CoV-2 has emerged as an efficient, cost-effective, and reliable method for assessing and estimating population infection levels. This approach may provide data to develop predictive modeling tools, enabling hospital and ICU occupancy trend analysis in the future. 

The fastest and most affordable method to date for quantitative viral detection is the quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) assay. This webinar will discuss background, technique, reagents and instrumentation used in wastewater testing as it applies to SARS-CoV-2 research, as well as implications for analysis of other pathogens and infectious diseases.

Disclaimer: Agilent products are NOT approved for COVID-19 testing, diagnosis, treatment, or mitigation. Agilent has not validated a product to detect the novel coronavirus.

GenomeWebinar

This webinar will present a case study from in vitro diagnostics developer SpeeDx on its experience building a complete sample-to-result workflow — encompassing instrumentation and data analysis software — for its qPCR-based ResistancePlus MG Mycoplasma genitalium assay.

Data analysis software has become an integral component of in vitro diagnostic assays in general, and molecular diagnostic tests in particular. The ability to provide a software solution for end users that accurately reports results, identifies technical issues, and can be integrated with a laboratory’s information systems can be as important in the final decision about whether to adopt a given platform as analytical and clinical performance data.

Another important consideration for molecular diagnostic development is the decision whether to develop a novel instrument or to leverage a third-party open platform. Considerations not only include size or price, but also the global installed base, available service plans, options for instrument placement and reagent rental. These choices impact capital efficiency, time to commercialization, and accelerated adoption of the assay in the market. 

SpeeDx is a developer of innovative multiplexed molecular diagnostic assays that employ a novel PCR technology (PlexZyme). Although the assay chemistry is flexible and instrument agnostic, the company needed a customizable software application that could take unique data feeds from different instruments and turn them into accurate reportable results with minimal involvement from end users.

This presentation will discuss the partnership between SpeeDx and Ugentec to produce an integrated data analysis solution for SpeeDx customers running the assay on the Applied Biosystems 7500 Fast Dx Real-Time PCR Instrument , covering the key elements of the Ugentec software. 

After the main presentation, UgenTec will briefly discuss its FastFinder software platform that allows labs and assay providers to build sample-to-result workflows and Thermo Fisher Scientific will briefly introduce its instrumentation, reagent, and services portfolio for assay development. The presentations will be followed by an interactive Q&A session with attendees.

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GenomeWebinar

As worldwide COVID-19 cases continue to rise, there is a significant need to increase testing and population surveillance capacity. Traditionally such efforts have relied solely on clinical testing of individual patients. But recent reports demonstrate that a proportion of the individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, shed viral RNA into feces providing the opportunity to surveil wastewater to monitor the presence and trends of SARS-CoV-2 infection within a community. This practice, known as wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE), has been previously used to monitor public health status for a number of viruses including poliovirus, norovirus, hepatitis A, hepatitis E, and aichi virus.  Importantly, initial studies indicate that SARS-CoV-2 RNA shedding in feces is agnostic to symptom severity, which indicates WBE could provide less biased public health monitoring than clinical testing alone. 

In this webinar, Aaron Bivins of the University of Notre Dame will describe methods for direct-adsorption extraction and Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR) for the sensitive and reproducible quantification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in primary influent samples from two municipalities.  

Raul Gonzalez of Hampton Roads Sanitation District will provide insights on a 20-week study demonstrating that wastewater SARS-CoV-2 concentrations have steadily risen ahead of clinically confirmed cases and propose several ways that data can be presented to be of greatest use to public health officials. 

Together they will highlight the utility of wastewater-based epidemiology to detect and track SARS-CoV-2 infection within a community using Droplet Digital PCR. 

August 12, 2020
Sponsored by
Truvian

Demystifying COVID-19 Antibody Testing

GenomeWebinar

Antibody testing is expected to play an important role in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the cluttered landscape of both lab-based and lateral flow serology testing options, it has become challenging to know which way to lean, and where the cross section of accuracy and access lie. 

In this webinar, Dr. Jerry Yeo, Professor and Medical Director of Clinical Chemistry at University of Chicago, and Dr. Stephen Rawlings, Infectious Disease Fellow at University of California, San Diego, will summarize their thoughts on the value, utility and limitations of antibody tests for SARS-CoV-2.  

They will review how rapid lateral flow serology tests work and considerations when choosing a test. They will also share data from their independent studies focused on assessing the performance of lateral flow tests, including a comparison to a standard laboratory serology instrument.

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GenomeWebinar

Research Microbiologist-Team Lead
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA

Sr. Director of R&D, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Establishing and evaluating proper controls are critical to the success and accuracy of any diagnostic assay. Successful controls increase confidence in a diagnosis by verifying that every step in the diagnostic process is working properly and providing reliable information. The testing volume and supply shortages incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic have stressed all aspects of respiratory disease diagnosis, heightening the importance of internal and external controls.

Dr. John R. Barnes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will give a  presentation focusing on developing and validating internal and external controls for nucleic-acid based tests for infectious respiratory disease, using the new CDC Influenza SARS-CoV2 Multiplex Assay as an example. The possible effects of shortages and processing changes on diagnosis and the importance of evaluating controls during the COVID-19 pandemic are also discussed.

Tony Prestigiacomo, Sr. Director of R&D at Thermo Fisher Scientific, will then talk about the importance of quality control in serological testing for infectious disease.

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July 30, 2020
Sponsored by
PerkinElmer

Choosing a Coronavirus PCR Assay

Partner Webinar

Sleep Better Without Testing Nightmares: Critical considerations when choosing an RT-PCR Assay for SARS-CoV-2 testing.

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GenomeWebinar

This webinar will discuss a study that set to assess the efficacy and safety of osimertinib in EGFR T790M positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients identified by using plasma sample and cobas EGFR Mutation test v2. This is the first prospective study to use liquid biopsy upfront to evaluate osimertinib efficacy.

Takayuki Takahama of Kindai Nara University Hospital will share details of the study, which enrolled 276 patients with advanced or recurrent NSCLC with known TKI-sensitizing mutations of EGFR, had documented disease progression after treatment with at least 1 first- or second-generation EGFR TKI, and were positive for the T790M mutation in plasma.

Dr. Takahama will discuss the results, which demonstrate the utility of liquid biopsy for the detection of T790M with the cobas EGFR Mutation Test v2. Plasma genotyping with this assay is informative for treatment selection in clinical practice when tumor sampling is not feasible. 

July 15, 2020
Sponsored by
LGC SeraCare Life Sciences

Diagnostic Challenges in Cancer Immunotherapy: An Expert Panel Discussion

GenomeWebinar

Chief Scientific Officer, Foundation Medicine

Global Head of Medical Affairs,
Clinical NGS and Oncology Division, Thermo Fisher Scientific

President & Chief Technology Officer,  Genosity

Vice President, Assay Development, Illumina

Chief Scientific Officer, LGC SeraCare Life Sciences

Cancer immunotherapy is an exciting new advance for the successful treatment of many forms of metastatic cancer. However, only a minority of patients with terminal cancer have durable response with approved immuno-oncology treatments.

This on-demand webinar features a panel of experts in the field who provide key insights into the current advances in cancer diagnostics and immunotherapy, as well as challenges facing the discipline.

The panelists bring a wealth of expertise and differing viewpoints in clinical laboratory practice, cancer research, translational sciences, and immuno-oncology diagnostics and therapeutics at the molecular and cellular levels important to the care and management of cancer patients and treatment outcomes. Each speaker will have an opportunity to share their perspectives on this topic, which will be moderated by Dr. Russell Garlick, Chief Scientific Officer at LGC SeraCare. The presentation will be followed by a live Q&A to allow attendees to address the experts directly.

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GenomeWebinar

This webinar will describe a rapid metagenomics assay under development for human pathogens, including the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

The assay under development at the University of Pennsylvania is based on a microarray platform of 8 arrays by 60,000 probes and detects all known viruses and other pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and parasites, covering more than 6,000 accessions of microorganisms associated with diseases.

The array-based technology can accurately detect an agent of interest, including SARS-CoV-2, in less than 24 hours. The assay includes probes covering all known pathogenic respiratory pathogens, including other coronaviruses from bats and other mammals, providing accurate and efficient detection of SARS-CoV-2 as well as the potential for detection of other respiratory pathogens as co-infecting agents that may contribute to severity of disease. 

Dr. Erle Robertson of the University of Pennsylvania will describe the benefits of the test, which include high accuracy due to the use of multiple probes across the genome, which minimizes negative results from probe failure due to the compensatory signals from other probes in the assay screen. 

Dr. Robertson will discuss his team’s plans to develop the assay to require only a few drops of blood or plasma for detection of the virus.    

Disclaimer: Agilent products are NOT approved for COVID-19 testing, diagnosis, treatment, or mitigation. Agilent has not validated a product to detect the novel coronavirus.

For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

Partner Webinar

Watch the video, “GX Solutions for a Quiet Work Environment,” to learn more about the benefits of reducing noise in a healthcare environment.

GX Solutions professional medical-grade refrigerators are available from Helmer Scientific, a leading supplier of cold storage and processing equipment. GX Solutions utilize OptiCool Technology and are available in upright and undercounter models. They are designed for critical healthcare applications and offer optimized control in temperature management (uniformity, recovery and stability) along with quiet operation.

Partner Webinar

Watch the video, “GX Solutions and Energy Savings,” to learn about the impact of energy efficiency on cost of ownership and how facilities can save money and support sustainability with GX Solutions from Helmer Scientific.

GX Solutions professional medical-grade refrigerators are designed for critical healthcare applications and offer optimized temperature management with OptiCool Technology.

GenomeWebinar

Professor for Molecular Hematology,
Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Technical University of Dresden

The invention of novel high-throughput technologies, especially next-generation sequencing (NGS), has spurred our understanding of the development of human cancers and opened new avenues for rapid and comprehensive diagnosis. Especially in hematological malignancies, the availability of these novel high-throughput technologies has greatly enhanced our capabilities for the identification of disease, defining lesions and targets for tailored treatment. At the same time, these diagnostic tools have inherent aspects that make them vulnerable to false positives as well as false negatives. Major aspects are balanced coverage, the rate of detection of long insertions and deletions, as well as the sensitivity of the assay. 

Besides these technical aspects, the comprehensive and adequate interpretation of results, especially in the light of more recent discoveries regarding preleukemic, clonal hematopoiesis, such as clonal hematopoiesis with indeterminate potential (CHIP), adds an additional layer of complexity, which requires a substantial level of expertise to avoid over- as well as underinterpretation of results.

Nevertheless, the important information gained by using NGS-based evaluation of patients for the presence of mutations enables much more comprehensive analysis; identification of disease-defining lesions (e.g., mutations in genes like NPM1, CEBPA, SETBP1); and potential targets for treatment (e.g., cKIT, FLT3) and risk stratification (e.g., TP53, RUNX1 or ASXL1).

In this webinar, Dr. Christian Thiede, Professor for Molecular Hematology at the Technical University of Dresden will discuss the pros and cons of these methods, their appropriate and cost-effective use, as well as aspects to keep in mind for data interpretation will be discussed.

For Research Only. Not for use in diagnostics procedures.

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June 04, 2020
Sponsored by
Ovation

COVID-19 Testing, Treatment and Future Outlook

GenomeWebinar

Chief Scientific Officer, Vikor Scientific

This webinar will discuss the current status of COVID-19 testing, treatment and other aspects of the current pandemic as they relate to getting this outbreak under control.  

Attendees of this webinar will learn about:

  • The role of PCR and antibody testing in the management of the pandemic;
  • The role of potential treatments for COVID-19 and future vaccines on the management of the pandemic;
  • Actions that need to be taken to mitigate the impact of future pandemics.
Sponsored by
GenomeWebinar

Target enrichment has been shown to be more sensitive than metagenomic methods and PCR amplicon sequencing for pathogen genomes, and faster than traditional methods for analysis of hard to culture pathogens, for example viruses and some bacteria.

In this webinar, Judith Breuer of University College London & Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children will show how Agilent’s SureSelect targeted enrichment technology:

  • Allows her team to generate high quality consensus sequences and preserves the population structure of minority variant sequences compared to sequencing directly from clinical samples.  
  • Enables them to interrogate clinical samples for better understanding of the evolution of drug resistance and pathogen transmission. 
  • Offers a useful tool study the impact of drugs on pathogens and the recovery of pathogen transcriptomes as part of understanding pathogenesis.

For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

GenomeWebinar

In this webinar, Joseph Featherstone and Dr. Brent Satterfield from Co-Diagnostics (CoDx) will present insights into the development of the CoPrimer COVID-19 test. They will discuss how innovative design algorithms and a close partnership with a critical component supplier, LGC, Biosearch Technologies, enabled assay design and verification in seven days, making the COVID-19 test available for market. Brent will provide details of the CoPrimer technology and how the new algorithm enabled rapid assay design, while Joseph will share the latest developments toward clinical validation of the assay as well as discuss the CoDx Portable qPCR Lab and its impact in the field.

Dr. Geert Koene from Biosearch Technologies will share the perspective of a component supplier and will discuss details of the company's proprietary BHQ technology, experience in reacting to outbreaks, and the importance of a collaborative partnership.

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