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WaferGen Begins "Open Format" Initative; Strikes Assay Pact with IDT

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WaferGen Biosystems said this week that it has initiated a new "open format" strategy that will facilitate custom assay development for customers on its SmartChip real-time PCR system.

In addition, WaferGen said that it has established a relationship with Integrated DNA Technologies to provide that company's PrimeTime qPCR Primers for SYBR-based gene expression assays.

WaferGen's new assay-design program, called MyDesign, allows customers to dispense their own assays in a variety of configurations, thus enabling "easy and rapid design of new experiments," the company said.

After loading their custom content on MyDesign SmartChips, customers will be able to perform high-throughput qPCR gene expression and single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping projects more simply and cost-effectively, the company said.

"The MyDesign concept has greatly expanded our ability to utilize the SmartChip System in our laboratory," Jo Vandesompele, professor of functional genomics and applied bioinformatics at Ghent University, said in a statement.

"We were able to successfully conduct diverse experiments such as long non-coding RNA expression analysis, as well as perform genotyping and target enrichment for next-generation sequencing," Vandesompele added. "The ability to dispense assays on the spot and to test different configurations has significantly increased the speed of content selection and validation."

In conjunction with the MyDesign launch, WaferGen announced its partnership with IDT, which has developed more than 800,000 SYBR-based gene expression assays featuring PrimeTime qPCR primers and using a sophisticated design engine that eliminates cross reactivity and includes up-to-date SNP and intron/exon junction information.

The two companies will also collaboratively provide custom assay design services for formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples to WaferGen customers.

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