Swift Biosciences, SeraCare Partner
News Feb 01, 2016
Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) detection, also called a ‘liquid biopsy’, is a needed application of next-generation sequencing (NGS) to detect cancer mutation signatures directly from blood plasma samples for patients with tumors that cannot be biopsied.
Seraseq™ ctDNA products are based upon patent-pending technology used to make circulating fetal DNA reference materials. Mixtures of DNA containing key somatic mutations at specific allelic frequencies are provided as stabilized material in a proprietary synthetic plasma matrix.
The first ctDNA reference material available for early access is a 9-mutation mixture at varying allele frequencies targeted from 5% down to 0.1%. The Seraseq circulating nucleic acid technology is robust and highly amenable to customization, supporting any number of mutations and allele frequencies as quantitated by digital PCR (dPCR). The combination of design and stabilization technology results in a highly precise and reproducible ‘ground truth’ material suitable for NGS and dPCR assay development and performance monitoring.
“Swift Biosciences has been instrumental in providing leading NGS-based assay results using their unique library construction enzymology and target enrichment chemistry”, said Russell Garlick PhD, CSO of SeraCare Life Sciences. “With Swift’s Accel-Amplicon™ Oncology panel, we have observed reliable and consistent results with our Seraseq ctDNA biosynthetics to allele frequencies below 1%.”
Swift Accel-Amplicon panels offer a streamlined workflow and all materials necessary for complete library construction, with the low input requirements necessary for materials such as ctDNA and FFPE samples. As use of liquid biopsy for translational research grows, customized panels with low sample inputs and high sensitivity become essential requirements for NGS-based assays.
“Reference standard material for circulating tumor DNA is vital for the implementation of liquid biopsy analysis,” said Dr. Timothy Harkins, CEO of Swift Biosciences. “Understanding and characterizing any NGS assay for liquid biopsy samples will require well-defined reference reagents. Standards like Seraseq ctDNA reference material allow the community to first understand ctDNA properties, optimize assays and then ultimately use ctDNA in innovative assays to detect and monitor cancer burdens within samples. In turn, this type of work will lay the foundation for transforming future cancer treatments.”
In a new study in cells, University of Illinois researchers have adapted CRISPR gene-editing technology to cause the cell’s internal machinery to skip over a small portion of a gene when transcribing it into a template for protein building. This gives researchers a way not only to eliminate a mutated gene sequence, but to influence how the gene is expressed and regulated.