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WaferGen, Ghent Univ. to Collaborate on SmartChip Applications

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – WaferGen Biosystems today said that Ghent University in Belgium has signed a research collaboration with the firm and is an early-access customer for its SmartChip Real-Time PCR System.

Under the alliance, the University of Ghent will use the system to help validate a biomarker signature for neuroblastoma in children. Researchers there also will use the SmartChip Human microRNA gene panel to evaluate various disease states. In addition, they will develop new applications for the SmartChip platform and collaborate on developing and evaluating software for real-time PCR data analysis, said WaferGen.

The University of Ghent will be part of WaferGen's early-access program for the system and will receive the SmartChip in the first quarter of this year. It is the latest early-access customer named by WaferGen, which last week disclosed several partners under the program.

"Using the SmartChip platform, we believe we can study thousands of genes simultaneously to identify novel gene signatures or run multiple samples on a single chip to validate the signature of interest," Jo Vandesompele, a professor in functional cancer genomics and applied bio-informatics at Ghent University, said in a statement. "This should enable greater accuracy for discovery of biomarkers and decreased time to results."

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