Posts Tagged by Top PR

Life Science PR: NuGEN launches sample prep kit for NGS analysis of multiple gene changes

Optimized for analysis of SNPs, mutations and copy number changes in 500+ cancer gene targets

Rapidly customizable for discovery, validation and highly-targeted clinical diagnostic testing in a single assay

NuGEN Technologies, of San Carlos, CA, today launched a sample preparation product that allows NGS detection of multiple changes in more than 500 individual genes implicated in cancer.

The reagent kit, based on NuGEN’s Single Primer Enrichment Technology (SPET), is called the Ovation Cancer Panel 2.0 Target Enrichment System. The new kit updates NuGEN’s well-established Ovation Cancer Panel Target Enrichment System both by enriching for an improved and larger selection of cancer-related genes, and by enabling the detection of gene level copy-number variations (CNV) in addition to SNPs, mutations and indels, in a single workflow. It can be used with either fresh or FFPE tissue sections to deliver sensitive and reproducible targeted genomic analysis.

The method can also be rapidly customized to provide target enrichment kits for any gene sets defined by the researcher within a target size range that may include thousands of genes or just a few.

The new product is the latest release in the company’s drive to offer tools for targeted resequencing that provide basic and clinical researchers with a holistic view of the underlying molecular biology of disease.

“We’re excited by this latest product introduction,” said NuGEN CEO Elizabeth Hutt. “The Ovation Cancer Panel 2.0 Target Enrichment System enables a more comprehensive picture of the biology of a particular sample. And by making it possible to analyze mutations, SNPs and gene copy number changes in a single assay, the new system will save researchers time and money and allow more efficient use of samples.”

Typically, to analyze single nucleotide mutations and copy number changes in a sample, researchers have had to employ completely different analysis platforms. NuGEN’s new method allows simultaneous targeted analysis of both types of changes, from a single sample preparation, on a choice of Illumina NGS systems.

According to Robert P. Sebra, Ph.D., Director of Technology Development at the Icahn Institute and Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York: “The underlying cause of cancer involves critical alterations in the genome. These alterations may include point mutations, changes in gene copy number, combinations of these, and other genomic changes. Having a common NGS workflow to simultaneously detect multiple types of variations would be invaluable because it would conserve precious patient samples and offers the ability to reproduce or validate results.”

Hutt added: “For cancer research, combined mutation and CNV analysis is a valuable complement to NuGEN’s recently released Ovation Fusion Panel Target Enrichment System, which also uses SPET to detect both known and unknown gene fusions in all exons of a 500 gene panel.”

About NuGEN

NuGEN Technologies Inc. is a rapidly-growing, privately-held company providing innovative products and systems for the preparation of biologic samples for targeted genomic analysis. Founded in 2000 and based in San Carlos, CA, NuGEN has long been at the cutting edge of genomic technology, with accurate, cost-effective reagent kits for even the most challenging sample types. NuGEN products are used in more than 1000 leading life science institutes and in diagnostic and pharmaceutical companies in 40 countries.

About HarrisCom:
The Harris Communications Group is an award-winning PR and digital marketing firm based in Cambridge, MA. 

Life Science PR: 3 Companies Validate NGS Sample Prep Workflow

System integrates PreAnalytiX GmbH and NuGEN Technologies innovations to ensure reliable, reproducible, cost-effective RNA-Sequencing analysis. Corporate study alliance model critical to standardization, bringing genomics to the clinic.

San Carlos, CA and Piscataway, NJ, July 15, 2015— A multi-site study has clinically validated an end-to-end workflow for the collection, storage, transport and preparation of human whole blood samples for RNA-Sequencing (RNA-Seq). The study, initiated in January 2015, integrated products from PreAnalytiX GmbH and NuGEN Technologies, which worked collaboratively with RUCDR Infinite Biologics at Rutgers University to measure the system’s efficacy for transcriptome profiling with clinical samples.

“We have determined that the PreAnalytiX/NuGEN integrated workflow ensures reproducible, accurate and sensitive results in RNA-Seq of whole blood. Importantly, this integrated workflow enables gene expression from total RNA, allowing researchers to study both protein coding and regulatory transcripts from human whole blood,” said Dr. Andrew Brooks, Chief Operating Officer of RUCDR Infinite Biologics, who led the study. Brooks is also an associate professor of Genetics at Rutgers University and directs the Bionomics Research and Technology Center at the Environmental and Occupational Health Science Institute there.  Brooks will outline the study results on Tuesday, July 14 at the  International Leaders in Biobanking Conference, in Toronto.

“This study is critical for clinical researchers because it demonstrates that by using the combined PreAnalytiX and NuGEN workflow, scientists in laboratories around the world can confidently share not only their data but also their samples,” Brooks said.  “And, by joining forces to validate the combination of their proprietary technologies, PreAnalytiX and NuGEN have taken the lead with RUCDR to deliver the standardization needed for broader adoption of genomics in the clinic.”

Brooks explained that total RNA derived from patient blood samples is used for a myriad of clinical genomics applications—such as discovery and analysis of disease-related biomarkers, identification of new therapeutic targets and monitoring disease progression and treatment. But there are factors that present challenges to data integrity when using whole blood. Collection, storage, purification, handling and transport methods may vary. Nucleic acids can degrade during handling and processing, resulting in unreliable results and bias in transcript abundance. Whole blood also contains high levels of uninformative ribosomal RNA and reticulocyte globin RNA, which can reduce sequencing efficiencies and increase costs.  Moreover, variation between sites and operators makes it difficult to standardize results among researchers and laboratories. “If researchers across multiple sites obtain different results, we need to be sure the variations are attributable to changes in the biology and not the technology,” he said.

At the Biobanking Congress, Brooks reported tight correlation in results across three sites in New Jersey with multiple operators, using several nanograms of total RNA from each of 10 subjects. That is, using PreAnalytiX technology for extraction, storage and transportation of samples and NuGEN technology for library formation and depletion of ribosomal RNA and globin prior to whole transcriptome analysis, the study team found high reproducibility of results across sites, operators and equipment. “The combined workflow led to reproducible whole blood collection and storage; reproducible and robust RNA extraction; reproducible and consistent library creation; and tight performance correlations across and within sites,” he said.

“This integrated sample prep workflow will be important for scientists seeking new genetic biomarkers for disease. It will be valuable to pharmaceutical clinical trials for determining if a therapeutic leads to genetic changes in a particular cancer. And it is  important to the future of clinical research because it allows the development of guidelines and standards for scientists who want to share samples, not just data, globally, across sites and experiments,” Brooks said.  “Without such standardization, many results might never advance to the clinic.”

The study used the PreanalytiX  PAXgene Blood RNA System for whole blood collection, storage and RNA extraction and NuGEN’s Insert Dependent Adaptor Cleavage (InDA-C) technology from the NuGEN Ovation Human Blood RNA-Seq System  to prepare strand-specific RNA-Seq libraries and for ribosomal/globin depletion. RUCDR Infinite Biologics oversaw sample collection, processing and data analysis.

About NuGEN

NuGEN Technologies is the leader in providing solutions which make biological samples accessible for genomic analysis, enabling scientists to capture the truest biology achievable, independent of the quantity or quality of the samples. The company has commercialized numerous proprietary DNA and RNA sample preparation products for use in research and diagnostic applications. Founded in 2000, NuGEN Technologies, Inc. is privately held and headquartered in San Carlos, CA. For more information please visit

About RUCDR Infinite Biologics

RUCDR offers a complete and integrated selection of biological sample processing, analysis and biorepository services to government agencies, academic institutions, foundations and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies within the global scientific community. RUCDR provides DNA, RNA and cell lines with clinical data to hundreds of research laboratories for studies on mental health and developmental disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, diabetes and digestive, liver and kidney diseases. RUCDR completed an $11.8 million expansion and renovation of its facilities in May 2013. Read more at

NuGEN and Ovation are registered trademarks of NuGEN Technologies, Inc.. PreAnalytiX and PAXgene are registered trademarks of PreAnalytiX GmbH.

The Harris Communications Group is an award-winning Life Science PR and thought leadership firm based in Cambridge, MA. 


“NanoRoad Show” Highlights Czech Technology Prowess

On Wednesday, October 8,  I was pleased to attend a “nano road show” highlighting tiny technologies and expansive R&D capabilities of the Czech Republic came to Boston.

Sponsored by “CzechInvest,” the  Czech Republic’s investment and business development agency, and by the Consulate General of the Czech Republic, the “road show” featured six companies and research institutions with expertise in nanotechnology–a branch of engineering focused on the design and manufacture of extremely small devices built at the molecular level of matter.

Anharris | Harris Communications Group
Radek HasaAnharris | Harris Communications Group
Anharris | Harris Communications Group

At a reception held at the Cambridge Innovation Center in Boston, I had the opportunity to speak with Jan Slunsky, the CEO of a company called Nano Iron–which  produces tiny iron particles used to treat ground water contaminated by chlorinated hydrocarbons from industrial waste. “Our nano particles are “very reactive” and may clear an area of pollutants in months-to-years—unlike other ‘in-situ’ reagents that can take 10-to-20 years to reduce contaminants,” Slunsky said, “And because Nano Iron particles are composed of a naturally occurring mineral, they do not add toxicity when Nanoironinjected into a substrate.”  Other remediating processes may involve the costly transport of polluted water to distant filtration plants, he added. Nano Iron currently partners with environmental consultants and remediation companies in the Czech Republic, France, Denmark, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Nano Iron recently launched a pilot project in South Carolina.

  • Another presenting company was Advanced Materials-JTJ, which  introduced its own industrial process of manufacturingofphotocatalytic multifunctional paints for air purification. The company has also patented large-scale technology toproduceTiO2nanoparticles withhigh efficiency. Advanced MaterialsJTJ works  with several universities and international companies on variety of R&D and commercial projects. With  technologies are in material science,photocatalysis and energy accumulation,  ADvancedMaterials-JTJ participates in EC grant consortia onphotocatalytic water decontamination.Nanord show 1I also met Martin Navratil, chairman of the board of SYNPO, a commercially-oriented, privately held R&D center which arose in 1992 from a government-owned research center. Today, SYNPO offers new technologies and products such as coatings adhesives, composites and binders based on applied polymer science.   It focuses on contract research and development, manufacturing, process development, and nanostructured polymers and polymers from renewable raw materials. It also provides specialized analytic services, helps client companies scale up production, and trains students. SYNPO’s clients range from small Czech and European companies to some of the world’s largest multinational chemical companies, including DuPont, in the US, Navratil said.

Featured educational and research and development institutions included:

After the meeting, Abi Barrow, director of the Boston-based Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center, said: “Nanotechnology is changing the world. It will change the way everything operates, because of the new materials people are now developing. The Czech’s have exhibited some ‘very interesting’ technology and research skills in the nanotech arena. And New England, with its own great nanotech base, has real interest in finding cost-effective ways to contract out research development and testing.”map czech

Agt the event, I learned that, t in the 1930´s Czechoslovakia was ranked among 10 most developed countries in the world and that Czech scientists were instrumental in developing contact lenses and anti-HIV drugs.

Jan Fried, director of East Coast operations for CzechInvest tokd me that today,  “the Czech Republic offers the best conditions in Central and Eastern Europe  for international partnership, with US firms major investors in Czech companies.”  Additionally, CzechInvest has sponsored   “CzechAccelerator”  for the past three years. One such program, was based in Silicon Valley; the other at the Cambridge Innovation Center, in Kendall Square.

–Anita M. Harris

Anita M. Harris is Managing Director of the Harris Communications Group, an award-winning marketing and public relations firm based in Cambridge, MA.

This post was adapted from a sponsored post originally written for  New Cambridge Observer.

Harris Communications Group’ Anita Harris questions Sheryl Sandberg Ban Bossy campaign

News from the Harris Communications Group March 25, 2014

[media-credit standalone=0 id=1 align="alignleft" width="300"]Harris Communications Group President and Broken  Pattenrns Author  Speaking at Lincoln, MA Library[/media-credit]

Harris Communications Group President and Broken Pattenrns Author Speaking at Lincoln, MA Library

Cambridge, MA – Harris Communications Group’s Anita Harris, author of Broken Patterns, Professional Women and the Quest for a New Feminine Identity, supports Sheryl Sandberg’s campaign to encourage girls to become leaders. But she questions whether the Sandberg “ban bossy” campaign will promote good leadership. The campaign suggests that rather than call forceful girls  “bossy,”  we should view them as future leaders. “But, identifying bossy individuals as leaders misses the mark—and may the diminish confidence of other girls, ”  Harris says.  “The Oxford Dictionaries define bossy as ‘fond of giving people orders, domineering.’ However, a good leader brings out the best in others and encourages them to excel in reaching common goals.” Rather than use the term “leader” to describe girls or boys who tell others what to do, Harris suggests considering them candidates for leadership training. “Some kids are bossy in the worst sense – pushy, cocky, tyrannical, draconian, oppressive, dictatorial or anti-democratic.  And there can be a fine line between bossy and bully, regardless of gender.” Harris is also concerned that the Sandberg campaign’s emphasis on corporate and political leadership for females could diminish the confidence of girls who are not inclined to head companies, run for office, or become highly visible “bigwigs.” “We need to recognize and respect that there are many ways and realms in which to lead – not just in business and government, but in sports, the arts, education, nonprofits,” Harris says.” Women can lead at all levels, in any job, community, school, and in their own families. We should encourage girls to be authentic, to follow their own paths, and to assume leadership in ways that will positively impact their own lives and the people around them.” Anita M. Harris is the author of Broken Patterns, Professional Women and the Quest for a New Feminine Identity  (2nd edition, February, 2014).   A former  journalist, Harris covered “women’s issues” for Newsday and MacNeil/Lehrer (now the NewsHour) of PBS. She is now managing director  of the Harris Communications Group, an award-winning PR and marketing firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Tree-based biofuel company EuphorbUS to open operating site in Hawaii

Boston, October 16—-Oil seed tree-based biofuel company EuphorbUS today announced that it is expanding its global operations to the United States.  The company, which has operated for seven years in East Africa,  completed a strategic alliance with the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center in Kauai, Hawaii to begin the transfer of agro forestry protocols to the  Hawaiian Islands.

EuphorbUS, incorporated in the US in 2008, completed research and development and has been producing price competitive Pure Plant Oil Biofuel for the residential markets in three East African countries.  The company manufactures a renewable, low cost, plant-based fuel oil in Kenya for the East African market.  The fuel, which is used to replace petroleum diesel for trucks, farm equipment and industrial and small residential gen sets is produced from oil extracted from widely available nuts of the Croton tree. The tree and others of its species are indigenous to 5 regions of the world—including Africa, Australasia, Indonesia, South America, and Hawaii.

The fuel is cost competitive with petroleum diesel, burns cleaner than petroleum based fuel, can be used with little to no modification for most engines, has been used for centuries in rural regions of the world, and is derived from trees which are not cut to harvest the oil seeds according to Christine Adamow, the EuphorbUS founder and CEO.  The extraction and production technology is exceptional in that no chemical inputs are required and the processing facility is self-powered with biomass and fuel produced by the company, making the factory fully rationalized for cost and carbon savings.

“The world is facing rapidly rising costs and depletion of standard fossil fuels, increasing pollution, and a growing need for affordable, clean, safe, and scalable energy to supply the world’s burgeoning economies,” Adamow said. “We are excited to bring our experience in emerging markets and our technology back home, where we can leverage the past 6 year of boots on the ground in East Africa to the US.”

The company is positioning itself for a favorable off take by the US Navy which has a mandate to run the US Global fleet on Biofuel by 2020.    Short term, EuphorbUS will prepare the tree protocols for the US market while  seeking contractor/parners  to produce  biofuel for the Global Green Fleet. “From our years of experience we know that the local market is our sweet spot and Hawaii is ready for us. We expect to create a new market for over 120, 000 barrels of Biofuel annually, with employment for over 1000 farmers and up to 75 professional jobs on the Islands,” Adamow said.

EuphorbUS made its announcement as part of an investor presentation at the Global Clean Tech Meet up in Boston, Massachusetts.

EuphorbUS is a Delaware company that  grows oil seed trees and produces pure plant oil biofuel.


Event: 10/15/2012 Marketing Your Personal and Professional Brands

American Marketing Association/Social Media Club Joint Event
7 pm October 15 at the CIC addition to seeking funding and developing their products, startups
need to raise awareness — and often turn to online social
communities. But when and how should you promote the
startup when and how should you promote yourself?
How do you maintain distinct online personalities when marketing the
professional brand vs the personal brand? Should you use the same voice?These are some of the issues that will be discussed at the start of
Boston Regional Entrepreneurship Week at 7 pm on October 15 at the CIC. The
Boston chapters of Social Media Club and the American Marketing
Association will join forces to feature three panelists who will discuss
these issues. (More details at below)—Anita Harris, President, Harris Communications Group and SMC Director

Marketing Your Professional and Personal Brands:
When is it right, wrong, and everything in between?

When you post information online, do your tweets and updates represent the voice of your company? Or do your updates represent yourself, an individual sharing the company?

If you are a marketer in charge of being the voice of your organization, yet have a significant online following as a result of your personal brand, it’s not an easy answer!

Trish Fontanilla,  Joselin Mane, and Kelly Rice are established marketers who effectively promote their professional and personal brands online every day. Hear their insights and strategies and learn how they juggle their own personalities and identities, while also representing the corporate voice of their respective companies in social media, in videos, at events, and other marketing channels.

Trish Fontanilla, @trishofthetrade, Community Manager, vSna
Joselin Mane, @joselinmane. Founder & CEO ,LITBel
Kelly Rice, @kellyrice88, Marketing Manager, Kinvey

There is an on-site parking garage. Limited street parking is also available.
The hashtags of the night are #smcboston, #amaboston, and #smcama.

Please note that attendees may be photographed, audiotaped, and/or videotaped at any time. By showing up, you agree to having your photo, voice, and/or video appear online.