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OpGen, In-Q-Tel Developing Technology for Microbial Genome Analysis

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – OpGen today announced a collaboration with In-Q-Tel to develop a high-throughput sequence and genome mapping pipeline for microbial genome analysis.

The firms are developing the technology for the US Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, a customer agency of In-Q-Tel, and the National Bioforensic Analysis Center, a DHS S&T laboratory.

In-Q-Tel, based in Arlington, Va., is an independent strategic investment firm that identifies technologies that support the missions of the US intelligence community.

The technology being developed as part of today's announcement will automate OpGen's Whole Genome Maps for use in high-throughput genomic assembly and analysis pipelines, OpGen said.

"The suite of applications in the pipeline will automatically align DNA sequence data to a map of the entire genome and recommend the most accurate finished sequences derived from the highest confidence alignments," the Gaithersburg, MD.-based firm said.

A software system is being developed to be used with computer clusters and cloud computing in order to generate rapid, accurate, reproducible, and standardized assembly of microbial genome sequences.

Richard Moore, chief scientific officer of OpGen, said that combining the Whole Genome Maps with next-generation sequencing saves costs and time and improves accuracy.

"The additional automation to be provided by this collaboration will make the finishing process much more efficient," he said, and the project will enable more flexible configuration of OpGen's Argus Whole Genome Mapping system.

Terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

In March, OpGen announced an agreement with investors to provide it up to $17 million in Series C financing.