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RainDance Technologies and MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory Collaborate

Published: Monday, June 25, 2012
Last Updated: Monday, June 25, 2012
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Initial deployment includes more than 2,000 samples to be processed using RainDance's ThunderStorm(TM) target enrichment platform and Illumina MiSeq(TM) sequencing technology.

RainDance Technologies, Inc. announced that MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory (MLL) has purchased the company's ThunderStorm(TM) System and consumables to process an initial 2,000 samples for use in the identification of prognostically relevant molecular mutations associated with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and other myeloid malignancies. Additionally, RainDance and MLL announced the completion of a collaboration which has resulted in the development of a novel content panel for use in the sequence-based analysis of AML and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). The panel will be used at MLL and also be commercially available to RainDance customers worldwide.

AML is a cancer of the bone marrow and the blood that progresses quickly without treatment. An estimated 50,000 new patients are diagnosed each year globally, making it a common type of acute leukemia among adults. Currently, diagnosing AML is done via blood cell analysis or bone marrow biopsies.

With over 50,000 samples received annually, MLL is one of the leading centers of excellence for liquid cancer diagnostics in Europe. The new ThunderStorm System is MLL's second RainDance platform.

"By sequencing the many mutations found in AML and MDS in a routine setting, we will better understand how to distinguish which patients need the most aggressive treatments, like stem cell transplants, and which can be treated effectively also using standard chemotherapies," said Dr. Torsten Haferlach, co-founder and CEO of the MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory. "We tested other methods but chose the RainDance platform due to its homogeneous sequence coverage, fast turnaround time and efficient workflow -- it is ideally suited to our high-throughput and high-quality accredited environment."

"Powered by our proven droplet-based single molecule PCR technology, the ThunderStorm System delivers unprecedented daily sample throughput, automated walk-away operation and running economics that are significantly lower than any other commercial solution," said Roopom Banerjee, President and CEO of RainDance Technologies. "We are pleased to be collaborating with MLL and believe that the AML/MDS content panel we've developed together will enable translational researchers to better characterize life-threatening cancers."

The new AML/MDS content panel will enable researchers to analyze more than 25 genes at the single base level. Containing over 1,300 amplicons, the panel is based on the RainDance DirectSeq(TM) tailed library strategy and provides coverage of over 235Kb of gene sequence simultaneously for downstream analysis on next-generation sequencing systems. The DirectSeq tailed primer library approach eliminates labor-intensive sequencing library prep, enables direct incorporation of sequencing barcodes, and shortens workflow time from several days down to several hours.

RainDance's portfolio of integrated cancer research analysis solutions consists of fully automated instrumentation (ThunderStorm(TM) System), a proprietary and customizable primer design pipeline, and consumables and reagents for applications including targeted DNA sequencing, ultra-deep sequencing of FFPE and fresh frozen samples (DeepSeq(TM) Solution), cancer pathway analysis (ONCOSeq(TM) Panel), methylation analysis (MethylSeq(TM) Solution) and digital PCR (RainDrop(TM) System). RainDance's targeted sequencing products integrate seamlessly with Illumina MiSeq(TM), HiSeq(TM), and Genome Analyzer(TM) platforms; Life Technologies SOLiD(TM) and Ion Torrent PGM(TM) platforms; Roche's GS FLX(TM) and GS Junior(TM) platforms; and the Pacific Biosciences PacBio RS platform.

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