WaferGen Biosystems, Inc.
(OTC:WGBS) (BULLETIN BOARD: WGBS) , a leading developer of state-of-the-art
gene expression, genotyping, cell biology and stem cell research systems, today
announced that academic researchers have successfully demonstrated the performance
of the company's SmartChip(TM) Real-Time PCR System in the initial phase of
the platform's ongoing alpha testing program. Initial tests conducted at the
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have demonstrated a number of the
SmartChip system's key analytical specifications, showing the product's complete
workflow on 1,000 oncology genes using small amounts of samples from emphysema,
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and healthy patients.
Key workflow elements that have been successfully demonstrated include primer-ready
SmartChips and the drying and reconstitution of primers for rapid high-throughput
100 nL real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Additionally, the platform's
ability to perform PCR in nano-volumes without any pre-amplification has been
demonstrated using various control genes, as well as indicators of other genes
that are known to be expressed in patient samples. The next phase of the alpha
testing program will focus on using the SmartChip system to identify biomarkers
of interest. Upon completion of the ongoing alpha testing program, data will
be presented and/or published in appropriate academic venues.
"The successful demonstration of the performance of the revolutionary
SmartChip system in a rigorous research setting is a tremendous step forward
for this novel platform. We are particularly excited that the platform has shown
the ability to capture the expression of genes that have not been able to be
seen using microarrays," stated Alnoor Shivji, WaferGen's chairman and
chief executive officer. "We expect that this is just the first milestone
related to the SmartChip alpha testing program and look forward to new findings
on biomarker discovery and validation."
The SmartChip alpha testing program involves the study of RNA isolated from
lung tissue samples from healthy patients, as well as patients with chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and IPF. Researchers are screening these
RNA samples with the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System in order to assess the platform's
performance in conducting novel gene expression research.