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FBI Approves Verogen Forensic Sequencing System for National DNA Index System

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Verogen said today that the FBI has approved its forensic DNA sequencing system, the MiSeq FGx Forensic Genomics System, for use by forensic laboratories for generating DNA profiles for the National DNA Index System (NDIS).

Illumina and venture capital firm Telegraph Hill Partners founded Verogen two years ago to commercialize Illumina's sequencing technology for use in forensics. Verogen is the sole provider and has global commercial rights to Illumina's MiSeq FGx system and associated sample prep kits and software.

San Diego-based Verogen said the MiSeq FGx is the first NDIS-approved system that uses next-gen sequencing technology. It includes the ForenSeq DNA Signature Prep kit, the MiSeq FGx sequencing platform, and ForenSeq Universal Analysis software and allows scientists to analyze up to 231 genomic markers simultaneously, enabling them to develop detailed profiles from degraded, mixed, and limited biological evidence samples.

"Obtaining NDIS approval is an enormous step forward for the forensic genomics community, and for mainstream adoption of this technology," said Verogen CEO Brett Williams in a statement.

"NGS enables us to efficiently generate more comprehensive and useful data," said Jenifer Smith, director of the Department of Forensic Sciences, in a statement. "This means we will be able to aid more investigations and close more cases." Smith's group was part of a consortium of US forensic labs to submit validation data to the FBI as part of the NDIS approval process.

The MiSeq FGx is available worldwide and had already been approved for use in the national DNA databases of France and the Netherlands.