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Canon BioMedical Launches First Commercial PCR Products

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NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Canon BioMedical has launched a line of genotyping assays and reagents that use rapid PCR and detection by high-resolution melt (HRM) analysis, the firm said today.

The assays are the first commercial products from the recently established Canon USA subsidiary, which is also developing a molecular testing platform.

The new assays will be marketed under the brand name Novallele, and they allow researchers to identify SNPs, insertions, and deletions in the human genome.

Novallele genotyping assays employ rapid PCR followed by HRM, while the mastermix is considered a companion chemistry optimized for use with the assays on any HRM-compatible thermal cycler.

"We're excited; it is our first product, our very first step, and it is introducing a brand new chemistry and assays that we do not see other vendors have," Brian McNally, a senior marketing specialist with Canon, told GenomeWeb.

The master mix is "open," allowing end users to design their own assays when paired with the firm's oligo dilution buffer reagent.

"If somebody has a PCR assay that is conducive with HRM analysis, they can port it onto our assay," McNally said.

In addition, the wholly owned subsidiary of Canon is offering 103 "pre-designed and functionally tested" off-the-shelf genotyping assays for targets in the human genome, and others will follow, McNally noted.

Canon BioMedical also launched a new website today. Its search interface allows users to query by gene symbol, variant type, or Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man database number, for example, but it also allows pharmacogenomics-related searches, McNally said.

The initial targets for the off-the-shelf assays were chosen based on known functionality and biological association. The firm considered what might be relevant to life science researchers rather than what its competitors are offering, McNally said.

As previously reported, the company, which is based in Melville, New York, also plans to launch a research-use-only molecular testing platform in the future. But it had identified a need for genotyping assays that are compatible with HRM analysis, regardless of the platform, McNally noted.

The new assays "are compatible with the platforms that already exist that do high-resolution melting, as well as potential future platforms, produced by Canon or others," McNally said. "We wanted to be platform independent; we look at [the assays] as being able to empower life science researchers now," he added.

There are other commercially available assays designed for the detection of SNPs that Canon's assays will have to compete against.

For example, Thermo Fisher Scientific's Life Technologies brand offers TaqMan hydrolysis probes, and the current catalog includes millions of predesigned assays. That firm also offers MeltDoctor HRM reagents.

Off-the-shelf KASP genotyping assays, meanwhile, are available from LGC, exclusively distributed by Sigma-Aldrich, and could be considered "similar" to the new Canon products, McNally said.

But, "by using melting as a detection technology, versus a probe-based system, [we] are able to design for unique targets that we think are relevant to human biology," he said.

Although Canon BioMedical was founded earlier this year, McNally said it has been reaching out to potential customers for a while.

"We started introducing ourselves through going to the trade shows for a couple of years now," he said. The newly-launched assays will make their conference debut at the American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting next month, followed by the Association of Molecular Pathology meeting in November.

McNally said the firm has been using the assays internally, but it has no early users at this time. They've also been tested on a commercial platform that is not made by Canon, he noted.

Canon has early-access users for its molecular testing platform and has received positive feedback, McNally said. The company said previously that the platform would launch later this year, but the firm has no updates at this time. 

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