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Wafergen, U of Toronto to Collaborate on BRCA1/2 Screening Technology

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Wafergen Biosystems today announced a collaboration with a unit of the University of Toronto for the use of the company's sample preparation technology for affordable and large-scale BRCA1 and BRCA2 screening. 

The agreement is with the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit of the Women's College Research Institute at the University of Toronto for the use of Wafergen's Seq-Ready TE System. Steven Narod, director of the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit and Mohammad Akbari, an assistant professor at the university, will lead the research. 

Narod, a co-discoverer of the BRCA1/2 genes, said that current guidelines for selecting patients for genetic testing overlook a large proportion of carriers who could be identified by population-based screening. In order to carry out large-scale genetic screening, an accurate and low-cost test is required. "Based on our experience, we think Wafergen's Seq-Ready TE System has the potential to enable the development of such a test," Narod said in a statement. 

Wafergen's technology enables a one-step target enrichment and library preparation solution, "which addresses CLIA-certified clinical laboratories' significant unmet needs in sequencing-based testing by providing uniform coverage of targeted genes, yielding better test specificity and sensitivity," Wafergen President and CEO Ivan Trifunovich added. 

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