WaferGen Announces IRS Federal Grant Award to Advance Its SmartChip System for Molecular Profiling of Disease States and Therapy Selection

(Nanowerk News) WaferGen Biosystems, Inc., a leading developer of state-of-the-art genomic analysis systems, today announced it has been awarded a $244,500 grant under the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project program established under Section 48D of the Internal Revenue Code. The grant will aid the company in advancing its SmartChip genomic analysis platform for molecular identification of disease states and therapy selection.
Using the SmartChip system, researchers can better identify patient response, speeding the critical path for introducing new therapies and reducing U.S. health cares costs of both research and standard of care. The WaferGen SmartChip system identifies and validates gene expression patterns biomarkers -- for multiple diseases. It uses the gold standard technique of quantitative real-time PCR in a high-density, nano-scale format. The SmartChip system enables the discovery and validation of higher quality biomarkers for improved genomics analysis in clinical analysis in clinical care settings, in addition to clinical trial patient stratification applications.
WaferGen's SmartChip biomarker discovery and validation capabilities can reduce long-term healthcare costs by improving the rate and cost-efficiency of therapeutic discovery and development, and by detecting optimal therapy selection for fewer adverse effects and expensive hospital visits. In identifying cancer therapies, researchers will need to understand causes at a molecular level, identify accurate/reliable biomarker signatures, and detect optimal therapeutic selection. The SmartChip system enables cost-effective genome-wide scans and focused oncology pathway and microRNA panels to address each of these critical needs.
The Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project is targeted at therapeutic discovery projects that show a reasonable potential to:
  • Result in new therapies to treat areas of unmet medical need or prevent, detect or treat chronic or acute diseases and conditions,
  • Reduce the long-term growth of health care costs in the United States, or
  • Significantly advance the goal of curing cancer within 30 years.
  • 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 genomic analysis for the life science and pharmaceutical industries. The company currently offers the breakthrough 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 company believes that SmartChip is ideal for researchers seeking to confirm discoveries made with the growing use of next-generation sequencing. In addition, the high throughput capabilities of the SmartChip system enable researchers to extend their research across large panels of genes, and hundreds of samples, at a very reasonable cost.
    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, the SmartChip system is designed to provide accurate, highly sensitive and high-throughput gene expression profiling capabilities to researchers, clinicians and pharmaceutical companies.
    In addition, the company offers an innovative fee-based service for gene-expression profiling using the SmartChip system. For additional information, please see http://www.wafergen.com.
    Source: WaferGen (press release)
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