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Pressure BioSciences to Develop Sample Prep for Parabase Genomics' Newborn MDx Service

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Pressure BioSciences will develop a sample preparation method for Parabase Genomics' targeted next-generation sequencing-based neonatal molecular diagnostics platform, the companies said today.

Parabase will incorporate Pressure BioSciences' patented Pressure Cycling Technology (PCT) sample prep platform into its LifeTime NewbornDx service, which evaluates 350 genes involved in genetic disorders.

Parabase CSO Andy Bhattacharjee said in a statement that Pressure Biosciences' PCT platform would enable "minimally invasive" testing because it can extract DNA from dried blood spot specimens, which are taken from every newborn.

According to Alexander Lazarev, vice president of R&D at Pressure Biosciences, performing NGS testing on dried blood samples is not trivial, but the company has previously had success with similar specimens. "We believe the PCT Platform has certain intrinsic capabilities that will enable the extraction and recovery of sufficient amounts of high-quality DNA from these specimens for subsequent testing with the LifeTime NewbornDx NGS service," Lazarev said in a statement.

In addition, Bhattacharjee said that turnaround time will be 48 hours, compared to the eight to 16 weeks typically needed for a clinical report. "This vast improvement in time to diagnosis should lead to better therapeutic options and patient outcomes, and lower economic burden due to less exploratory testing and shorter hospital stays," he said.

The test will be offered as a service and the companies will initially target neonatal intensive care units of US hospitals with the goal of improving early diagnosis of genetic disease.