WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc. (WGBS) has announced that the Company has entered into a research collaboration with the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit of the Women’s College Research Institute at the University of Toronto.
The Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit is a world leader in the field of breast and ovarian cancer genetics. The collaboration will utilize WaferGen’s Seq-Ready™ TE System, with the goal of enabling affordable, large-scale BRCA1 and BRCA2 screening for the general population.
The research conducted around the collaboration will be led by Dr. Steven Narod, Director, Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit, Women’s College Research Institute, and Professor at the Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, and Dr. Mohammad Akbari, Assistant Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto and Scientist at Women’s College Research Institute.
“We believe that there is a significant medical benefit to providing BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic testing for the general population,” stated Dr. Narod, co-discoverer of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. “The current guidelines used for selecting patients for genetic testing overlook a significant proportion of carriers who could potentially be identified through a population-based screening. However, in order to offer large-scale genetic screening, an accurate, low-cost test will need to be developed. Based on our experience, we think WaferGen’s Seq-Ready™ TE Syste has the potential to enable the development of such a test.”
“We evaluated a number of possible solutions in order to identify the best available testing technology, and determined that WaferGen’s sample preparation solution for next generation sequencing was cost effective and user-friendly,” added Dr. Akabari. “We now look forward to assessing WaferGen’s Seq-Ready™ TE System on a larger scale.”
“We are very excited to work with Dr. Narod and Dr. Akbari and their team on developing a large scale solution for BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 testing,” said Ivan Trifunovich, President and Chief Executive Officer at WaferGen. “WaferGen’s Seq-Ready™ TE system enables a one-step target enrichment and library preparation solution, which addresses CLIA-certified clinical laboratories’ significant unmet needs in sequencing-based testing by providing uniform coverage of targeted genes, yielding better test specificity and sensitivity. The superior performance of this new product is based on WaferGen’s proprietary technology that relies on massively parallel singleplex PCR, where amplification is cleaner and better controlled, resulting in more accurate variant calling.”