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Genomic Vision Joins BeyondSeq Consortium

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – French molecular diagnostics firm Genomic Vision announced today that it has been selected to participate in BeyondSeq, an EU-funded alliance of industry and academic groups developing new optical DNA mapping technologies for diagnostic applications.

BeyondSeq — short for Genomic Diagnostics Beyond the Sequence — kicked off last month and is funded through May 2019 with €6 million from the EU's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.

Coordinated by Tel Aviv University, participants include Chalmers Tekniska Hoegskola, Lunds University, the Israeli Institute of Technology (Technion), the University of Leuven, the University of Birmingham, and Impasara.

BeyondSeq aims to develop tools for integrated genetic and epigenetic profiling of long, single DNA molecules without the need for PCR amplification. Doing so is expected to help address three key limitations to genomic diagnostics: the loss of relevant information such as DNA damage lesions, rare mutations, or epigenetic markers following PCR amplification; difficulties in resolving long-range variations in genomic layout and correlating them with single point mutations, preventing large-scale screens; and the limitations imposed by the sample such as low sample amounts or inhomogeneous/highly variable samples.

The program expects to develop proof-of-concept assays based on optical barcoding of individual DNA molecules that target bacterial infections and antibiotic resistance, hematological malignancies, spinal muscular atrophy, and the early diagnosis of colorectal and lung cancers.

Genomic Vision said that it will contribute to the consortium its molecular combing technology, which involves stretching DNA fibers on glass slides, "combing" them, and then uniformly aligning the DNA fibers across the whole surface. Genetic anomalies can be identified by locating genes or specific sequences in a patient's genome using markers.