The technology is being developed for the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T), an IQT customer agency, and the National Bioforensic Analysis Center, a DHS S&T laboratory.
"OpGen is the leader in developing Whole Genome Mapping technologies for use with next generation sequencing (NGS) analysis pipelines," said Simon Davidson, partner on IQT's Investments team. "The company is the ideal partner to develop new software for high performance microbial data analysis to increase the speed and accuracy of analyzing samples from different sources to detect potential bio-threat organisms that may pose a danger to public health."
The enhanced application will automate the generation of OpGen's Whole Genome Maps for use in high-throughput genomic assembly and analysis pipelines. The suite of applications in the pipeline will automatically align DNA sequence data to a map of the entire genome and recommend the most accurate finished sequences derived from the highest confidence alignments. The software system is being developed for use with computer clusters and cloud computing to provide rapid, accurate, reproducible and standardized assembly of microbial genome sequences.
"Combining OpGen's Whole Genome Maps with next-generation sequencing saves finishing cost and time while significantly increasing accuracy," said Richard Moore, M.D., Ph.D., chief scientific officer of OpGen. "The additional automation to be provided by this collaboration will make the finishing process much more efficient. In addition, this project will enable more flexible configuration of the Argus(R) system allowing us to better meet the analysis needs of our customers."
"We are pleased to partner with IQT to develop innovative tools for high-throughput, whole genome, sequence analysis," said Douglas White, chief executive officer of OpGen. "Our ultimate goal is to develop systems, databases and services that simplify and standardize processes and information to enable the broader adoption of next-generation sequencing and Whole Genome Mapping for practical application in the biodefense, public health and clinical markets."