WaferGen Biosystems, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: WGBS), a leading developer of state-of-the-art genomic analysis systems, today announced it has launched the breakthrough WaferGen SmartChip Real-Time PCR System, the next-generation Real-Time PCR system for discovery and validation of biomarkers, or gene expression patterns, on a single platform.
The SmartChip System is designed to provide accurate, highly sensitive and high-throughput gene expression profiling capabilities to researchers, clinicians and pharmaceutical companies.
"The launch of the full SmartChip System is a key milestone for WaferGen that signals the next step of SmartChip commercialization to expand on the success of our Early-Access Program and collaboration activities," said Alnoor Shivji, chairman and CEO, WaferGen. "With full product availability, and manufacturing and sales/support readiness, we will now focus on targeting the top 20 biopharmaceutical companies involved with drug development and biomarker profiling and the top 40 translational medical centers involved with pathway-based biomarker discovery and validation."
SmartChip System to Enable New Model of Drug Research by Addressing Shift in Healthcare Enabled by Genomics
"WaferGen's SmartChip System will make a significant contribution to the advancement of drug research by addressing the shift in healthcare enabled by genomics," said Andre Marion, co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Applied Biosystems (now part of Life Technologies), and a member of WaferGen's Scientific Advisory Board. "Genomics has shifted biopharmaceutical research away from the previous model of blockbuster drugs targeting broad patient segments with significant adverse events, and an expensive and inefficient drug development process.
"The new model is that of genomic profiles that determine therapy selection and monitoring, enable companion diagnostics, improve patient stratification to maximize the outcome of clinical trials, and accelerate and lower the costs of drug development by failing early and failing fast. The WaferGen SmartChip System provides researchers with a tool that advances this new model by utilizing cost-effectively the benefits of Real-Time PCR technology," concluded Marion.
SmartChip System Adds Target Density, Cost Efficiencies to Real-Time PCR
"Because of the compressed dynamic range and poor sensitivity exhibited in microarray technology, hybridization-based technologies provide scientists with only a partial view of the expression profile, in some cases limiting the data to only 20-30% of the expressed genes. Real-Time PCR has been the validation technology of choice because it is a more sensitive and precise method to measure gene expression, but it lacked the target density and cost efficiencies of existing microarrays," said David Gelfand, WaferGen Chief Scientific Officer and pioneer of PCR technology.
"The WaferGen SmartChip System combines the high target density of microarrays with the benefits of real-time PCR technologies on a single platform to enable scientists to measure gene expression more precisely, with more sensitivity and accuracy in addition to high-throughput capability and cost efficiencies. It is designed to meet the high-throughput needs of biopharmaceutical companies' clinical trials with high quality and density of data yielding improved confidence in analysis and better patient stratification – for treating and targeting patient populations," concluded Gelfand.