Published August 19, 2014
Volume 22, Number 8

Business Bits

  • Roche HPV Test Provides Improved Screening for Cervical Cancer     

    Roche Diagnostics’ cobas HPV test has FDA approval to provide first-line testing for the risk of cervical cancer.     

    Women currently rely on pap (papanicalaou) tests that screen cells scraped from the uterine wall to check for the presence of abnormal cells that could potentially lead to cancer.     

    The revolutionary cobas HPV test uses those same cell samples, but it tests if woman are negative or positive for the two highest-risk HPV types, while also checking a group of 12 other high-risk HPV types.     

    The cobas HPV test had previously been used as a follow-up for pap tests and as an adjunct to pap for women 30 years and older. The cobas HPV can now be routinely used in conjunction with pap tests to provide an increased first-line level of detection for the risk of cervical cancer.       

    The cobas HPV test was originally approved by the FDA in 2011 for supplemental use. The expanded use of the groundbreaking test was approved by the FDA in April.     

    “We are very pleased that the FDA has approved this test for first-line use in cervical cancer screening,” Roland Diggelmann, Roche Diagnostics COO, said. “It is a recognition for the value the cobas HPV test provides to physicians and women to make more informed decisions that can ultimately prevent cervical cancer development.”      The cobas HPV test provides both pooled high-risk HPV DNA results and individual detection of HPV 16 and 18, the two types responsible for about 70 percent of cervical cancer. The FDA’s approval for the expanded use of the cobas HPV test is based on the results of a landmark clinical study that showed high-risk patients often times had cervical disease missed by pap cytology alone.      

    Roche Diagnostics, a division of Roche, is based in Hacienda with the company’s headquarters in Switzerland. Learn more about the cobas HPV test at hpv16and18.com.
  • BKF Improving Transit in North Bay       

    Public transit is getting a positive boost in the North Bay with expanded and improved transit routes being constructed by BKF engineers, surveyors and planners.      

    BKF is an integral partner in making significant infrastructure improvements for SMART, the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit. The project is the most significant infrastructure improvement in the North Bay in generations.      

    BKF is proud to have completed 17 miles of new track, crossings, bridges and signal improvements. The first phase will provide passenger service from Santa Rosa to San Rafael in late 2016, eventually linking 10 stations along 43 miles of track.      

    Visit sonomamarintrain.org/updates for more information about the transit project. BKF has an office in Hacienda, plus more locations in the Bay Area, Sacramento and Irvine. Learn more about BKF at bkf.com
  • Hanger Pledges $100K for Camp Scholarships     

    Hanger has donated $100,000 to establish the Hanger Kids Scholarship to Camp No Limits, a nonprofit camp for children with limb loss or limb difference.      

    The scholarship will provide $1,000 scholarships for 100 children to attend a Camp No Limits camps during 2014 and 2015. The funds will cover the cost of attendance, lodging, meals and included activities. One parent or guardian will be allowed to accompany a child to camp.    

    "Over the past 10 years, through their volunteerism with Camp No Limits, our employees have witnessed the incredible benefit this special camp provides for children with limb loss or limb difference and their families,"  Hanger president and CEO Vinit Asar said. "Camp No Limits (has) developed a truly exceptional experience. We are delighted to support their efforts and are happy this scholarship will help even more children and their families get to camp."   

    Hanger, an industry leader in prosthetics and orthotics, is based in Austin, Texas, with an office in Hacienda. Camp No Limits is also based in Texas, but offers camps throughout the United States and Canada. Learn more about Hanger and Camp No Limits at hanger.com/campnolimits.
  • Voxeleron Development Helps with Disease Monitoring     

    Using the corneal nerve fiber to diagnose and monitor peripheral neuropathy caused by HIV has great potential, according to scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.     

    Scientists used testing methods developed by Hacienda-based Voxeleron to carry out their experiments.     Researchers developed a simian immunodeficiency virus-infected macaque model that closely reflects key peripheral nervous alterations seen in HIV patients with peripheral neuropathy. The purpose of the experiment was to determine if non-invasive and repeatable methods of nerve fiber measurements enabled early detection of damage, progression of nerve fiber deterioration and assessment of therapeutic strategies.     

    To determine whether SIV infection leads to corneal nerve fiber loss, the researchers immunostained corneas for the nerve fiber marker βIII tubulin. They developed and applied both manual and automated methods developed by Jonathan Oakley, PhD, of Voxeleron to measure nerves in the corneal sub-basal plexus.      

    Voxeleron LLC develops and/or licenses specialized software in the field of computer vision. The company’s focus is in the field of medical image processing with emphasis on the development of ophthalmic analysis software.  

    Learn more about Voxeleron at voxeleron.com.

Compiled By Zoe Francis


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