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Posted: November 12, 2009

University Demonstrates Utility of WaferGen's New Proprietary SmartChip Nano-Dispenser

(Nanowerk News) WaferGen Biosystems, Inc., a leading developer of state-of-the-art genetic analysis systems, today announced that the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center demonstrated the utility of WaferGen's new proprietary SmartChip™ Nano-dispenser. The Nano-dispenser is used for loading samples and enzymes onto content-ready SmartChips for use with WaferGen's SmartChip™ Real-Time PCR System. The SmartChip Real-Time PCR System is designed to boost pathway-based gene discovery and exploration enabling researchers to discover new gene markers that could be missed using current microarray methods of discovery.
"The SmartChip Nano-dispenser enables the loading of a single sample into 5,184 nano-wells in a single step in approximately 20 minutes--at least three times faster than standard nano-dispensers," said Spencer Brown, Ph.D., Director of Plastic Surgery Research, Nancy Lee and Perry Bass of the Advanced Wound Healing Laboratory at UT Southwestern. "It is simple, easy to use, reliable, and cost-effective since we don't need to purchase elaborate and expensive equipment. Furthermore, its small footprint provides an added advantage of requiring less space. This contributes to our ability to use the SmartChip system to conduct gene expression research at a fraction of the time and cost of existing instrument systems."
"By demonstrating the utility of the SmartChip Nano-dispenser, UT Southwestern has provided additional verification of the role that the SmartChip system can play in decreasing research time and increasing the cost-efficiency of validating relevant gene expression biomarkers, and eventually assessing their impact on patient response to treatment," said Alnoor Shivji, Chairman and CEO, WaferGen. "This decrease in research time has broad economic implications for researchers discovering biomarkers and across the drug development industry, particularly for companies seeking ways to reduce time to market for their therapeutics or diagnostic products."
In January 2009, WaferGen and UT Southwestern established a collaboration under which UT Southwestern is conducting novel research projects using the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System in order to identify and validate gene expression biomarkers related to wound healing. Subsequent to this agreement, in March 2009, WaferGen and UT Southwestern established a novel wound healing research collaboration with IR BioSciences Holdings, Inc., a development-stage biotechnology company focused on the research, development and licensing of ImmuneRegen's wound healing drug candidate, Homspera®.
About the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System
The SmartChip Real-Time PCR System is designed as the first whole genome, high-throughput gene expression real-time PCR platform. This innovative system, combined with next-generation chemistry and optimized assays being developed by WaferGen under the guidance of David Gelfand, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and one of the pioneers of PCR, promises to deliver significant speed and cost advantages to researchers in the gene expression and genotyping markets. Based on collaborations established with leading research institutions, WaferGen believes that the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System is positioned as the platform of choice for biomarker discovery and validation. The system will provide a number of key ease-of-use features including content-ready chips with gene panels optimized for micro RNA, cancer, and whole genome. WaferGen believes the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System will be the first platform to combine the high-throughput capability and cost efficiencies of existing microarrays, with the sensitivity and accuracy of real-time PCR.
About WaferGen
WaferGen Biosystems, Inc. is a leader in the development, manufacture and sale of state-of-the-art systems for genetic analysis for the life science and pharmaceutical industries. The company is actively developing its SmartChip™ product for the gene expression and genotyping markets. WaferGen currently markets its SmartSlide™ family of products to companies and organizations involved in stem cell and cell biology research. SmartSlide represents the first fluidics integrated micro-incubators enabling cell biology and stem cell research.
Source: WaferGen (press release)

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