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Posted: November 19, 2009

WaferGen to Introduce New Service for Gene-Expression Profiling

(Nanowerk News) WaferGen Biosystems, Inc., a leading developer of state-of-the-art genetic analysis systems, today announced a new, innovative service for gene-expression profiling of thousands of genes using the SmartChip™ Real-Time PCR System. By taking advantage of the SmartChip Real-Time PCR system, WaferGen will offer universities, pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies a service that utilizes pathway-specific gene panels to discover and validate new biomarkers.
The company also announced today that it is moving to a new facility to support the SmartChip services and the expansion of manufacturing and R&D functions. The new WaferGen SmartChip Service will be made available to a few select customers in December and made more broadly available in the first quarter of 2010. The SmartChip Service offerings will be expanded early next year to include a miRNA expression panel. Researchers will get early access to the technology and the benefit of new and upcoming gene panels. In addition, academic researchers can get preliminary data at a reasonable cost to submit for grants to complete more advanced studies.
"Our new service, run by our experienced scientists, will introduce users to the throughput benefits of SmartChip to maximize the discovery of new biomarkers," said Alnoor Shivji, Chairman and CEO, WaferGen. "For the first time, researchers can interrogate thousands of genes in a single run using Real-Time PCR and detect gene expression differences that could be missed using microarray technology."
The WaferGen SmartChip Service is targeted at scientists involved in the discovery and validation of molecular biomarkers. The initial product to be run on the SmartChip platform is the SmartChip Human Oncology Gene Panel that provides pathway based gene expression profiling for Oncology. It may also be used for Immunology, Metabolic and Stem Cell research. The 5,184 nano-well SmartChip uses a small amount of biological material to query a thousand genes in a single sample, enabling discovery of biomarkers while saving researchers time and money. By applying Quantitative Real-Time PCR Expression Profiling, the SmartChip system combines the gene expression profiling of microarrays with the sensitivity and dynamic range of Real-Time PCR, the gold standard of gene expression studies. The 27 built-in controls offer added quality assurance to the results.
About WaferGen and the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System
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. The SmartChip Real-Time PCR System is designed as the first whole genome, high-throughput gene expression real-time PCR platform. 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, this innovative system 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.
Source: WaferGen (press release)

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