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Austrian Lab Accredited for NGS-based HLA Testing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service of Upper Austria said today it has been accredited by the European Federation for Immunogenetics for the use of human leukocyte antigen tests based on next-generation sequencing on Roche's GS Junior system.

The method provides more precise and rapid tissue-typing and donor selection for stem cell transplants, the laboratory said. The HLA testing had been use only for research, but will now be available as "a standard routine diagnostic procedure," it added.

"Worldwide, around 50,000 people a year urgently require a stem cell transplant, and the chances of finding an allogeneic stem cell donor are about one in 500,000" Thomas Schinecker, Head of Roche Sequencing Solutions, said in a statement. "This accreditation is an example of how the potential of next-generation sequencing can be successfully translated from research into medicine and made widely available to patients in areas of high medical need."

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