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WaferGen SmartChip System Chosen to Confirm Accuracy of New Blood Test Under Development for Detection of Cancer and Other Diseases
Results published by German scientists in Nature Methods
By: PR Newswire
Oct. 13, 2011 08:30 AM
FREMONT, Calif., Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- WaferGen Biosystems, Inc. (OTCBB:WGBS), the provider of next-generation genomic analysis systems, announced that its SmartChip Real-Time PCR System was chosen by a German consortium to advance their research toward developing a reliable blood test for detection of cancer, cardiovascular and other diseases. The results of the multicenter study were published in Nature Methods by a broad group of scientists headed by Andreas Keller at Febit Biomed GMBH and the Comprehensive Biomarker Center (CBC, Heidelberg).
The researchers turned to WaferGen's SmartChip System to validate their findings of significantly different microRNA levels in blood of tumors compared to those found in healthy subjects. Most microRNA expression profiles come from solid tissue samples. The purpose of this study was to assess if different microRNA expression levels could be determined in blood samples. Using the SmartChip System, they were able to confirm variations in microRNA levels from 44 individuals with lung cancer and 41 with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). These research results and verification by the SmartChip System support the potential of using microRNA expression patterns in blood to detect disease.
"We have been astonished by the high degree of reproducibility of the SmartChip System and the concordance with the microarray data," said Keller.
"We applaud the CBC, Heidelberg and the German team who have made this outstanding progress toward developing a blood test for what could be early detection - and thereby more successful treatment - of cancer and other diseases," said David Gelfand, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, WaferGen. "Although there is still additional development work that needs to be conducted, we are pleased to have helped to move closer to making this important test a reality. It is indicative of the role of our SmartChip System as a transformative genomic analysis product."
MicroRNAs are small non-protein-coding single-stranded RNA molecules of 20-24 nucleotides in length that function as negative regulators of gene expression by targeting specific messenger RNAs. This either inhibits translation or promotes messenger RNA degradation. By understanding the relationship between disease processes and microRNA patterns in blood cells, scientists believe they can better comprehend diseases.
To read the complete article, see: Andreas Keller et al: "Towards discovering the blood-borne miRNome of human diseases." Nature Methods 2011, DOI:10.1038/nmeth.1682.
About WaferGen and the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System
WaferGen Biosystems, Inc., an emerging genomic analysis company in the early stage of commercialization, offers the transformative SmartChip Real-Time PCR System--a next-generation Real-Time PCR system for profiling and validation of gene expression patterns (biomarkers) on a single platform. The SmartChip System provides a range of high-throughput capabilities including microRNA and mRNA gene expression profiling and Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) genotyping. WaferGen also offers Quick-Turnaround SmartChip Custom (User-Defined) Panels to enable validation studies of specific genes of interest through customization of high-throughput, real-time PCR SmartChip assay panels--all on a quick-turnaround basis.
In addition, the company offers an innovative fee-based service for gene-expression profiling using the SmartChip System. For additional information, please see http://www.wafergen.com .
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements". Such statements relating to the use of the SmartChip System, and other statements relating to future events are not historical facts, including statements which may be preceded by the words "intends," "may," "will," "plans," "expects," "anticipates," "projects," "predicts," "estimates," "aims," "believes," "hopes," "potential" or similar words.
Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, are based on certain assumptions and are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of the company. Actual results may differ materially from the expectations contained in the forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause such differences include the risks that: (i) the company may be unsuccessful in commercially developing its products or in achieving market acceptance of new and relatively unproven technologies; (ii) the company may need to raise additional capital to meet its business requirements in the future and the company may not be able to do so on reasonable terms or at all; (iii) the company's proprietary intellectual property rights may not adequately protect its products and technologies; and (iv) the company expects intense competition in its target markets, including from companies that have much greater resources than the company, and there can be no assurance that the company will be able to compete effectively. More detailed information about the company and the risk factors that may affect the realization of forward-looking statements is set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010 and the company's most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2011. Security holders are urged to read these documents free of charge on the SEC's web site at www.sec.gov. The company does not undertake to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Don Huffman, CFO
Media: Joyce Strand
Investors: Tim Ryan
SOURCE WaferGen Biosystems, Inc.