WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc. today announced the successful completion of a proof-of-concept study using its newly-developed proprietary nano-qPCR technology for sample preparation prior to targeted re-sequencing on Next-Gen platforms.
The results can be viewed in white paper form at: http://www.wafergen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/TargetEnrchmnt_NGS_WPf.pdf
Target enrichment with uniform coverage approaching 100% is difficult to achieve with current methods and represents a potentially very large unmet need in the fast-developing market for clinical sequencing. Future implementations of routine sequencing in diagnostic testing will require clinical labs to get as close to this goal as possible. WaferGen's proprietary approach to solving this challenge is based on massively parallel PCR reactions, where amplification is cleaner and better controlled, thereby providing superior coverage and uniformity.
"One of the main challenges in conducting accurate and efficient targeted re-sequencing using next-gen methods is the target enrichment step. The key goal of complete and uniform coverage is often elusive when relying on the most frequently used methods of highly multiplexed PCR and/or target capture. In our study, we have successfully tested a new type of WaferGen's high-density chip and related system components, on which one is able to enrich hundreds to thousands of target regions by amplifying each target in an individual PCR reaction, thereby avoiding multiplexing interference. In a typical run, excellent sensitivity was reached (covering 96.7% and 97.3% of the targets >40 fold and >10 fold, respectively), while uniform coverage was obtained (>93.4% of the targets fell within a 10 fold difference in coverage). We plan to expand the evaluation and development of this application on WaferGen's platform," stated Dr. Jo Vandesompele , Professor of Functional Genomics and Applied Bioinformatics at Ghent University and the lead author of the study.
Based on the encouraging initial results from Ghent University, as well as similarly promising results from a second alpha unit at a major US medical research institution, the Company plans to deploy significant available resources behind the rapid refinement and commercialization of this potentially frame-breaking technology. It is contemplated that existing system components will be complemented by a low-cost cycler and a simple sample dispenser that will allow the technology to be cost-effectively deployed even at smaller labs. This technology will add important utility to the SmartChip System, which already offers a wide array of nano-qPCR applications with best-in-class flexibility, high levels of sensitivity and dynamic range without the need for pre-amplification, and a very low cost per reaction.