Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced today, it made a strategic investment in Stratos Genomics and entered into a research collaboration to support further development of their unique chemistry applied to single molecule sequencing of DNA fragments using protein nanopores. During this collaboration, a focused research team at Roche will work with Stratos scientists to support the development of efficient, low-cost sample preparation methods for DNA Xpandomers™ and also improve sequencing performance, by leveraging Roche’s expertise in protein design, polymerase mutagenesis, modified nucleotide chemistries and rare reagent manufacturing.
Stratos Genomics has pioneered a “Sequencing By Expansion™” (SBX™) method, which is a single molecule detection process that converts DNA into a larger surrogate molecule, called an Xpandomer™. These Xpandomer™ molecules, 10-100 times longer than the original DNA, pass through a nanopore which has a detector to read out the signal. A polymerase can be used to synthesize the Xpandomers™ from a DNA template by incorporating customized expandable nucleotides and increasing the surrogate molecule through a rapid chemical reaction. SBX’s signal to noise advantage has the potential to enable accurate, high throughput sequencing on reduced cost nanopore systems.
“The recent advancements of the SBX method for detection of single molecule reads using protein nanopore detectors further demonstrates the possibility of using single molecule platforms for whole-genome sequencing,” said Dan Zabrowski, Head of the Roche Sequencing Unit. “The goal of our research collaboration with Stratos Genomics and the recent acquisition of Genia Technologies is to capitalize on the promise of nanopore sequencing and put Roche on a path to introduce a potentially disruptive technology to the sequencing market.”
“The investment by Roche will support our research team in advancing our chemistry for nanopore sequencing. We look forward to collaborating with Roche and bringing our technology to the sequencing market,” said Allan Stephan, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Stratos Genomics.
About Stratos Genomics
Stratos Genomics’ goal is to establish the next gold standard of DNA sequencing with its “Sequencing by Expansion™” (SBX) method. SBX is a simple, elegant, single-molecule detection process that circumvents the limitations of competing technologies, allowing accurate, reduced cost whole genome sequencing. Established in 2007, Stratos Genomics Inc. is a spin-off of Seattle-based Stratos Group LLC. Stratos Group is dedicated to the conversion of science and technology into commercial solutions for the advancement of mankind and the protection of the environment. Also under the Stratos Group umbrella is Stratos Product Development LLC. Stratos Product Development LLC is a world leader in innovation and high tech product development services. For more information, go to www.stratosgenomics.com.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and 3/3 neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostics that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. Founded in 1896, Roche has been making important contributions to global health for more than a century. Twenty-four medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organisation Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and chemotherapy.
In 2013 the Roche Group employed over 85,000 people worldwide, invested 8.7 billion Swiss francs in R&D and posted sales of 46.8 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit www.roche.com.
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