NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Roche announced today that the Blood Centre Linz, an Austrian research institute specializing in bone marrow and stem cell transplantation, has purchased a Roche 454 Genome Sequencer FLX System.
Blood Centre Linz plans to use the 454 sequencer to help match donors with recipients and to assist in research aimed at reducing the risk of rejection during bone marrow and stem cell transplants.
Successful tissue matching involves typing regions of the human leukocyte antigen, or HLA, system, part of the immune system, to determine whether tissue donors and recipients share enough HLA similarity to prevent the donor’s immune system from attacking or rejecting transplanted tissue. This matching can be difficult and time-consuming and the chances of finding a suitable stem cell donor are just one in 500,000.
By using the Genome Sequencer FLX, the Austrian institute hopes to increase the efficiency of HLA typing, cut the amount of time it takes to find an appropriate donor, and decrease the incidences of tissue rejection by making better donor-recipient matches.
“The continuous decoding of genetic characteristics offers unprecedented insights and opportunities in the area of medical research,” Christian Gabriel, Blood Centre Linz’s medical director, said in a statement. “There is enormous potential in the area of bone marrow and stem cell therapy, which is especially applied in the case of various forms of leukemia.”
The center is the first non-university institution in Austria to use 454 sequencing and is receiving government assistance to help purchase the instrument.