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ARUP, CHOP Ink Deal to Offer NGS-based HLA Genotyping

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – ARUP Laboratories today announced it will begin offering next-generation sequencing-based high-resolution HLA genotyping as part of a deal with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

ARUP will begin offering the service starting Nov. 17 to help aid in decisions concerning bone marrow transplants, ARUP CMO and Director of Laboratories Jerry Hussong said in a statement.

HLA genotyping is used for identifying compatible donors and recipients prior to hematopoietic stem cell transplants. The current gold standard for HLA genotyping is using a low/intermediate-resolution sequence-specific oligonucleotide/sequence-specific primer test, followed by confirmatory Sanger sequence-based typing. Sanger SBT, however, analyzes only sections of the HLA genes and does not distinguish among different alleles "due to difficulty with resolving cis/trans chromosomal positions of those alleles," ARUP said.

NGS overcomes these limitations by performing large numbers of long clonal sequencing reactions, resulting in complete and unambiguous HLA genotyping results.

Dimitri Monos, director of the immunogenetics laboratory in the division of genomics diagnostics at CHOP, has developed and clinically validated a novel NGS HLA genotyping assay, and CHOP's immunogenetics lab is the only lab in the US offering HLA genotyping by NGS to its clinical programs, though some labs in Europe and Australia have adopted the method.

CHOP began offering HLA genotyping by NGS in February on the Illumina MiSeq platform, as Clinical Sequencing News reported at the time. In June, CHOP reached a licensing agreement allowing Omixon to develop the HLA typing service into a commercial kit for research use only.

"Since the discovery of HLAs in the early 1950s, it has been a challenge to accurately and thoroughly characterize HLA gene sequences," Monos said in a statement. "We have now used NGS tools to significantly advance HLA genotyping. This is the first technology that gives results free of any current or future ambiguities."

ARUP will offer two HLA tests by NGS — HLA Class I (A, B, and C) and HLA Class II (DRB1 and DQB1).

"HLA typing by NGS will replace preliminary and reflexive tests with a single test, reducing costs and time during the matching process," Julio Delgado, R&D director and director of ARUP's immunogenetics lab, said in a statement. "In the future, I envision all HLA typing, except for cadaver organs, being done by NGS. It is time for more patients and transplant centers across the United States to have access to this remarkable and innovative test."