Basel, 27 May 2010
Roche's Newly Launched Next-Generation DNA Sequencer Opens Innovation in Genomic Research to Broad Scientific Community
GS Junior Benchtop System expected to accelerate research in life sciences and human health
Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), announced today the global launch of the GS Junior System, the company’s new benchtop next-generation DNA sequencing platform for life science research. The GS Junior System, developed by 454 Life Sciences, a Roche company, provides an integrated sequencing and bioinformatics solution, all in a size that is no bigger than a typical desktop laser printer. Due to its size, efficiency and price competitiveness, thousands of small and medium sized research laboratories worldwide will now have access to Roche’s state-of-the-art sequencing capabilities at an affordable price.
The GS Junior System offers solutions for DNA sequencing in nearly every field of biological research including human population genetics, agricultural and environmental genomics and particularly for research in the area of human health. The system is ideally suited for research labs that require targeted sequencing of genomic regions associated with diseases such as diabetes and cancer, whole microbial genome sequencing, metagenomic analysis, as well as novel pathogen detection. That technology also offers significant advantages over current standards in many areas of medical research, such as in tissue matching for transplantation and HIV drug resistance detection.
“Roche has a proven track record of delivering innovative solutions in both life science research and diagnostics. With its fast turn around time and high sensitivity we expect the GS Junior System to provide significant medical value in future diagnostic applications,” said Daniel O’Day, Chief Operating Officer of Roche Diagnostics. “Putting the GS Junior System into hands of researchers worldwide will help to expand our knowledge of the genetic causes and molecular basis of diseases thereby contributing to the development of personalized healthcare.”
DNA sequencing is a large growth opportunity, particularly in the areas of oncology where elucidation of new mutations and gene rearrangements offer greater insights into disease mechanisms and potential areas for drug discovery. Currently, the global sequencing business is worth over one billion Swiss francs, with substantial double-digit growth expected for the next several years.
About the GS Junior System
The GS Junior System sequences over 35 million bases of DNA in a single 10-hour instrument run, with average read lengths in the range of 400 base pairs. With the ability to deep sequence gene loci, for example in high-resolution HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) typing which is critical for research on tissue transplantation and autoimmune diseases, and the sensitivity to identify rare drug-resistant viral variants down to 1% frequency as in HIV studies, the technology offers significant advantages over current standards in many areas of medical research.
The system includes a suite of high-performance data analysis software, offering a solution for scientists who may be less experienced in DNA sequencing technologies and bioinformatics. The software package includes tools for de novo genome and transcriptome assembly and mapping, as well as amplicon variant analysis for the identification of rare variants in targeted sequencing studies.
The GS Junior System offers a new scale of 454 Life Sciences’ proven sequencing technology, which revolutionized genomic research in 2005 with the launch of the market’s first next-generation sequencing system. Since then, the company’s flagship Genome Sequencer FLX System has enabled hundreds of scientific discoveries, including the identification of novel pathogenic viruses, the analysis of ancient DNA from Neanderthal and wooly mammoth, characterization of microbial communities in the human gut and coral reefs, and many more.
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, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2009, Roche had over 80’000 employees worldwide and invested almost 10 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 49.1 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com.
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