Archive: Innovation Radar

Beyond Sequencing – Agena Bioscience to Present Novel MassArray-based Cancer Diagnostics at ESMO 2016

Agena Bioscience will present its novel, MassArray-based cancer diagnotics at ESMO 2016. A special goody for journalists is available upon request – please contact us at info(at)

Activities at the ESMO 2016 Congress

Visit Agena in Copenhagen to learn how you can combine high sensitivity, accuracy, reliability, and data quality for improved patient management. View customers’ posters, attend Agena´s Investigator Studio presentation, stop by booth #205, or schedule a meeting with Agena directly.

Oral Lecture (Poster)
Routine molecular subgrouping of medulloblastoma: Bridging the divide between research and the clinic using low-cost, mass spectrometry-based DNA methylomics
Friday, October 7th: 17:00 – 17:15
Presenter: Ed Schwalbe, Newcastle University, UK

Investigator Studio
Clinical Rationale for EGFR T790M Testing in Circulating Tumour DNA
Saturday, October 8th: 16:00 – 16:30
Kiev lecture room

Dr. James Sherwood
Senior Diagnostic Scientist, Personalised Healthcare & Biomarkers, AstraZeneca
Dr. Darryl Irwin
Senior Director, Applications Development, Agena Bioscience

Visit Agena at booth #205

Note: A listing of additional scientific posters available to be viewed at the congress will be available after September 28th.

Innovation Radar: Probiodrug’s Nature Paper Receives Broad Coverage

This week’s Nature publication by researchers of Probiodrug AG and the University of Virginia has received broad coverage in the international media. In Germany and Austria, it made major news in TV (ARD, MDR, ORF) and radio stations (dlf, MDR, dradio), while in the US Rudy Tanzi, neurogeneticist of Harvard Medical School and an advisor on the Alzheimer problem to US-President Barack Obama, was quoted in ScienceNews as saying: “This opens up a whole new view of the disease.”

Alzheimer researcher Thomas Bayer, Professor of Molecular Psychiatry  at the University of Goettingen added in MDR INFO that the publication was “a very important contribution”, demonstrating that very small amounts of pGlu Abeta were able to drag normal Abeta peptides along into the deadly cascade and that tau protein was essential for the toxic function.

As an example, further reports appeared in Der Standard (Austria) and La Stampa (Italy).

Innovation Radar: A Novel Way to Prevent Restenosis?

Angioplasty is the most common medical intervention in the world today – more than 2 million coronary artery patients are treated  each year with balloon dilations or stents to widen coronary arteries with the goal to restore normal blood flow to the heart. While the procedure is beneficial in the first place, restenosis is a frequent event in the months after the intervention. It occurs in 10-20% of patients who received coronary artery stents and in up to 50% of patients who had undergone balloon angioplasty. In patients receiving drug-eluting stents (DES), restenosis rate is about 5%. However, these stents in the long run pose the risk of thrombosis. So far, no causal treatment of restenosis is available.

Restenosis is caused by a physiological reaction that is trying to repair the damage induced by the angioplasty procedure. It develops by increased proliferation of vascular smooth muscles cells (VSMCs) in the vessel walls. VSMCs respond to changes in the local environment by adjusting their phenotype from contractile to synthetic, and failure of VSMCs to acquire and maintain the contractile phenotype plays a key role in this process.

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research have now developed a novel treatment approach. They found that small non-coding RNAs (miRNAs 143/145) specifically expressed in VSMCs control the cells’ phenotypic variation. Therefore, modulation of miRNAs 143/145 levels through activators or stents eluting miRNA 143/145 mimetics may be a very promising approach inhibit restenosis and/or to combat arteriosclerosis.

The technology is being offered by Max-Planck-Innovation.

Innovation Radar: Improving Websites by Neuroscience

How to improve user attention to your website? This is a crucial question because visitors decide in less than five seconds on whether to proceed and look further or to just click away.

Based on insights of neuroscience, the German company Whitematter Labs GmbH has developed EyeQuant, a  patent-pending neurotechnology that helps companies optimize user attention.

The web-based tools identify the most eye-catching elements of a website using a predictive neuroscience model of human attention. The technology is based on eye-tracking data gathered in studies with several hundred human subjects conducted by visual neuroscientist Peter Koenig and his Neurobiopsychology Lab at the University of Osnabrueck, Germany.

The analysis can be performed by uploading screenshots to the EyeQuant website and is answering crucial questions: what will users see at first glance? Which elements of the website garner most attention? What are the regions of interest?

Website owners will get a map of the eye-catching sections and a perception map of what potential customers will focus on within the first few seconds – and what they ignore. Based on these data, websites can be further improved and subsequently tested again.

The technology thereby helps companies and web designers to understand and optimize landing pages and to improve conversion rates. EyeQuant offers the free analysis of two website screenshots. More detailed analyses can be booked for projects or as a flat rate, but it is also possible to obtain the tools as white label or to integrate it in own websites and marketing tools.

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