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Product Watch: Bio-Rad Prime PCR Panels; Vela Dx Sentosa NRAS PCR test

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Bio-Rad Laboratories this week announced the launch of more than 700 new PrimePCR human and mouse disease panels and 71 new pathway panels for real-time PCR.

The new panels allow researchers to thoroughly and efficiently investigate genes known to be differentially expressed in a specified pathology or biological pathway. Bio-Rad now offers more than 1,100 panels with nearly 6,700 pre-designed plate configurations.

The expanded product line includes highly studied pathways such as hedgehog and bone morphogenetic protein signaling, as well as processes such as circadian rhythms and visual perception. In addition, disease categories span hundreds of conditions, ranging from specific cancers and neoplasms to metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, the company said.

In collaboration with Thomson Reuters, Bio-Rad developed a plate design strategy to ensure that the most relevant gene targets are chosen for each real-time PCR panel; and that gene targets are weighted for differentially expressed genes and the frequency with which they appear in the peer-reviewed literature. For disease panels, Thomson Reuters referenced the diseases and their corresponding gene targets in the US National Library of Medicine database.

All of the assays were designed strictly adhering to MIQE guidelines, Bio-Rad noted. In addition, all of the primer assays have been fully wet-lab validated for specificity, efficiency, and sensitivity, according to Jan Hellemans, cofounder of qPCR and bioinformatics firm Biogazelle, which worked with Bio-Rad to develop the assays.

Bio-Rad said that it has also updated and expanded its existing predesigned pathway and collection panels to include the most scientifically relevant gene targets based on current literature and the latest bioinformatics data.


Vela Diagnostics this week launched its Sentosa SA NRAS PCR test for detecting mutations relevant to melanoma and thyroid cancers.

The assay is currently labeled as research use only, and Vela is in the process of submitting it for CE-IVD approval. The Sentosa NRAS PCR test is validated as part of the automated Sentosa workflow, which requires minimum hands-on time and sample input. The workflow is supported by automated reporting and middleware capability to allow for sample traceability, reliable result calling, and seamless laboratory integration, the company said. To date, the Sentosa qPCR workflow supports more than 20 tests and is designed to improve laboratory efficiency and cost effectiveness. Vela's qPCR oncology panel also includes tests for the detection of BRAF, and the company is also preparing to launch a KRAS assay.

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