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Roche Applied Science Launches Sequence Capture 2.1M Human Exome Microarrays

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A key milestone for personalized medicine has been achieved by two Roche Applied Science companies, Roche NimbleGen and 454 Life Sciences, in developing revolutionary technologies to resequence all human exons from individual genomes.

Roche NimbleGen has launched Sequence Capture 2.1M Human Exome microarrays, built on the HD2 platform, which allows researchers to capture all exons in the genome (i.e. the exome) on a single array with 2.1 million long oligonucleotide probes. Coupled with the Genome Sequencer FLX system from 454 Life Sciences, researchers worldwide now have the capability to assess genetic variation within the exome of any individual.

According to Roche, prior to the release of NimbleGen Sequence Capture Human Exome microarrays, the sequencing of the exome was neither technically nor economically feasible, as conventional PCR methods for the preparation of “all” human-coding exons are expensive and time-consuming.

In 2009, the technologies of Roche NimbleGen’s Sequence Capture and the 454 Sequencing System have made complete human exome sequencing a reality, and can ultimately produce technology to feed the research pipeline and nourish the development of personalized healthcare.

When asked about Roche NimbleGen’s role in contributing to personalized healthcare using Sequence Capture technology, Gerd Maass, CEO of Roche NimbleGen, stated: “Offering innovative, next generation tools that are reliable leads to dramatically reducing the costs of DNA sequencing and opens up new and quicker means for discoveries about biological disease pathways. In the future, these types of ground-breaking technologies, and the data and knowledge they provide are expected to allow comprehensive understanding of any information from the genome and enable personalized healthcare strategies for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment”.

NimbleGen Sequence Capture Human Exome microarrays are an integrated solution when used with the GS FLX Titanium Series Kits from 454 Life Sciences, launched in late 2008. The Sequence Capture arrays are optimized for subsequent ultra-high throughput sequencing with the GS FLX Titanium series kits and enable detection of genomic variation.

The new GS FLX Titanium chemistry expands upon the previous series by providing researchers with sequencing power of more than 400bp sequencing reads and over 1 million reads per run. The 454 Sequencing system also includes analysis tools for mapping reads and detecting variants from data of captured DNA from NimbleGen arrays, allowing straightforward interpretation of results.