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RainDance, BGI, Paris Hospital Collaborate on HLA Sequencing for RA Study

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – RainDance Technologies, BGI, and the Hôpital Saint-Louis in Paris will collaborate on a study to sequence the human leukocyte antigen super-locus in order to gain insight into mutations associated with rheumatoid arthritis, RainDance said today.

The partners will use the RainDance Targeted Sequencing Platform and HLASeq Research Screening Panel to target the HLA super-locus in patient samples provided by Hôpital Saint-Louis.

BGI will contribute sequencing and bioinformatics services to the project.

The partners plan to discover new variants and confirm findings from a previous RA study conducted by researchers at the hospital.

"Advances in the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis are contingent on the identification of common genetic characteristics in the context of auto-immunity,” said Ryad Tamouza, head of R&D immunogenetics at the hospital, in a statement.

One aim of the project is to "demonstrate a more cost-effective method for discovering new mutations and systematically mapping HLA associations using next-generation sequencing," Tamouza said.

The RainDance panel is a single assay used for interrogating the HLA super-locus. The company said that it provides single-base resolution of common and rare genetic mutations.

The partners aim to present data from the collaboration some time later this year.

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