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Product Watch: Sygnis and Qiagen; Kapa Biosystems, Covaris, Bioline


Sygnis said this week that Qiagen has launched the first two products of a series of kits based on Sygnis' proprietary SensiPhi amplification technology.

The two products, the REPLI-g WTA Single Cell Kit and REPLI-g Cell WGA & WTA Kit, are available now and will be commercialized globally through Qiagen’s established distribution channels, Sygnis said.

"The REPLI-g WTA Single Cell and REPLI-g Cell WGA & WTA [kits] address key user challenges in NGS and other downstream applications, where DNA sequence analysis is limited by small amounts down to single cells of available sample material," Achim Ribbe, vice president of corporate business development and licensing at Qiagen, said in a statement. "To drive adoption of NGS in the clinical space, Qiagen is building a broad portfolio of universal products, including the REPLI-g Single Cell Kits, which are compatible with any major NGS platform and which also support our own integrated sample-to-insight GeneReader workflow currently in development."

SensiPhi, previously known as QualiPhi, is the second generation of a DNA polymerase originally developed at the Spanish National Research Council in 2010. According to Sygnis, the studies have suggested that the polymerase's unique properties gives it the potential to improve amplification of whole genomes and large stretches of DNA.

The recent product launches are the first fruits of a global exclusive licensing agreement between Sygnis and Qiagen signed in 2012.

"We are at the beginning of a series of product launches that we believe will establish our polymerase as the potential future gold standard for isothermal amplification of DNA," Sygnis CEO Pilar de la Huerta said in a statement.

Kapa Biosystems this week launched three products designed to improve performance and workflows in genomic research. The new products enable researchers to apply the latest next-generation sequencing technologies more effectively to millions of low-quality and challenging samples, such as formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue, the company said.

Specifically, Kapa has launched:

  • KAPA hgDNA Quantification and QC Kit, a qPCR-based assay used to assess the quality of FFPE material prior to NGS sample preparation. The sample "quality score" provides a metric for optimizing DNA input and library amplification, and correlates with sequencing success. This kit is available now and compatible with all Illumina and Ion Torrent NGS platforms.
  • KAPA Hyper Prep Kit, a DNA library preparation kit that streamlines conventional library preparation workflows and improves library yields, making it ideal for use in applications with challenging samples, such as FFPE tissue or GC- and AT-rich microbes. This kit is compatible with all Illumina NGS platforms and will be commercially available early in the second quarter.
  • KAPA Stranded mRNA-Seq Kit, an RNA library preparation kit for gene expression and copy number analysis applications. The kit provides a streamlined workflow, 99 percent strandedness, and improved detection of challenging GC-rich and low-abundance transcripts, Kapa said. This kit is compatible with all Illumina NGS platforms and will be commercially available in early Q2, the company said.

Covaris this week introduced the truXTRAC High-Throughput FFPE DNA Extraction and Purification Kit.

The new kit provides an optimized workflow for high-yield, high-quality DNA extraction from challenging yet highly valuable formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples. It uses Covaris' patented Adaptive Focused Acoustics technology, which generates a focused, short-wavelength acoustic field that enables active paraffin removal without the use of organic solvents, as well as the effective digestion of proteins and the efficient release of DNA, as the tissue is more efficiently rehydrated.

The kit includes Covaris' 2D barcoded eight-microTUBE strips and allows 96 samples to be processed in a standard SBS microplate format in about one hour using a Covaris LE220 focused ultrasonicator.

At the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology meeting this week in Marco Island, Fla., the company also presented whole-genome sequencing results from truXTRAC FFPE DNA samples. In a comparative study, truXTRAC showed both greater yield and greater coverage depth across the genome than other commercial extraction methods, Covaris said. More importantly, coverage uniformity with the truXTRAC kit was very similar to that of DNA extracted from matched fresh frozen tissues, such as in gene-rich regions of the genomes, it added.

Bioline, a subsidiary of Meridian Bioscience, has launched the SensiFAST cDNA synthesis kit.

The new kit is powered by a newly developed reverse transcriptase with enhanced properties and, combined with the TransAmp buffer can provide consistent, unbiased, first-strand cDNA synthesis necessary for high-sensitivity real-time PCR experiments, Bioline said.

The TransAmp buffer, the company said, includes a highly optimized blend of random and anchored oligo(dT) primers to ensure RNA is accurately represented without bias in the generated cDNA. Furthermore, it is designed to overcome challenging secondary structures in a 42º C reaction, which is the optimal temperature for the new enzyme. Similar to SensiFAST real-time kits, the cDNA synthesis kit is both sensitive and fast, producing a valid representation of low-copy RNA transcripts in a 30-minute protocol, the company said.