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Kromatid Receives $200K NHGRI Grant to Develop Single-Cell Structural Genomics Platform

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Kromatid said today that it has received a Fast-Track Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute to further develop its proprietary single-cell structural genomics platform.

The $206,597 grant was awarded on Aug. 1 and expires at the end of the year.

The automated, whole-genome directional genomic hybridization (dGH) platform is capable of measuring de novo random, low-frequency, and complex structural variations in individual cells, and provides quantitative structural variation data that cannot be measured through any other method, the company said.

The current dGH platform was developed using an SBIR grant from NASA as a sensitive method to assess genomic structural changes caused by exposure to ionizing deep space radiation. Kromatid currently provides commercial dGH assays based on that platform for the detection of oncogenic fusions, the discovery of disease-causing variants, the measurement of biological response as a surrogate for radiation dose, and the measurements of structural off-target effects caused by CRISPR-based gene editing.

According to the SBIR grant abstract, the company's goal is to now provide "high-resolution structural rearrangement data to researchers who need to screen larger libraries of samples (oncology), investigate a very diverse patient population (rare diseases), or assay very large numbers of cells for complex rearrangements (gene editing)." The company plans to develop an automated, full-genome dGH screening method comprised of high-density chromatid paints and image processing software that can detect inversions and translocations smaller than 10 kilobases, which can screen both very large numbers of samples and large numbers of cells in individual samples.

"Through this SBIR award, the NIH is making it possible for Kromatid to provide economical, whole-genome analysis in thousands of single cells per sample — enabling the discovery of rare structural variants and the measurement of extremely low levels of off-target structural damage in batches of edited cells," Kromatid President and Chief Technology Officer Christopher Tompkins said in a statement.

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