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Oxford Nanopore Technologies, 4bases Collaborate to Develop Rapid BRCA Sequencing Test

NEW YORK – Oxford Nanopore Technologies said on Monday that it has forged a partnership with Swiss clinical next-generation sequencing company 4bases to develop a rapid, end-to-end research workflow for the analysis of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility genes.

The partnership will leverage 4bases’ BRCA1 and BRCA2 PCR amplification kits, which generate amplicons that are compatible with Oxford Nanopore's short fragment mode nanopore sequencing, the companies said.

According to an Oxford Nanopore spokesperson, the assay will initially be rolled out to clinical researchers in Switzerland and Italy, with more markets to follow.

Internal studies using commercial samples have shown 100 percent concordance in identifying known genetic variants present within the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, the companies said. Research studies using clinical samples are underway in multiple sites, they noted.

"In the first instance, we are excited to see how the combination of 4bases and nanopore sequencing will enable rapid characterization of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and significantly decrease the time to answer," Oxford Nanopore CEO Gordon Sanghera said in a statement. "As our collaboration develops, we will see this expanded across the breadth of the 4bases portfolio and this will have a large impact on many research areas."