OpGen Announces Participation in New European Union Clinical Microbiology Research Consortium

Gaithersburg, Md. -- 02/23/12
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Project to Combine Next Generation Sequencing with Whole Genome Mapping to Genotype and Diagnose MRSA, Tuberculosis and ampylobacter Species

OpGen, Inc., a whole-genome analysis company developing and commercializing a complete suite of break-through products and services based on its proprietary Whole Genome Mapping technology, announced today the company’s participation in the European Union’s Patho-NGen-Trace research program. This multi-year project aims to bring Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) from a specialized basic research method to a standard routine tool for medical and bio-industrial microbiology applications, providing faster pathogen identification with whole sequence genetic characterization.   OpGen’s Whole Genome Mapping technology will be used with NGS to generate more accurate sequences of the model pathogens, and to characterize genetic markers for drug-resistance, virulence and whole genome evolution that may not be detected by NGS alone.

Funded by the European Union’sSeventh Framework Programme, the international consortium of leading experts in clinical microbiology will focus on developing NGS combined with Whole Genome Mapping as next generation DNA analysis tools that can be used for the genotyping and diagnosis of pathogens. Three pathogens will serve as models for the development project?Mycobacterium tuberculosis, methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Campylobacter species. All three pathogens are found worldwide and pose a serious medical threat and an important challenge when it comes to their treatment.

“We are very pleased to be a part of this international consortium and look forward to advancing the organization’s long-term goal to control, predict and contain the spread of disease,” said Douglas White, chief executive officer of OpGen. “Combining NGS with Whole Genome Mapping will provide powerful new DNA analysis tools to overcome existing obstacles facing microbiologists and scientists and translate into public health and clinical diagnostic applications.”

Continuing advances in sequencing technologies and the decreasing cost of sequencing have resulted in vast amounts of data that must be assembled and analyzed. There is a growing backlog of sequence data resulting from the costly and time consuming bioinformatics and computing required to complete the assemblies and analysis. Transforming this time- and resource-intensive process to a rapid, validated workflow could be adopted for routine use in public health epidemiology and diagnostic workflows.

OpGen’s Whole Genome Mapping technology has been shown to accelerate and streamline the sequence data analysis workflow.  This unique and powerful technology rapidly generates high-resolution, ordered, whole genome maps from single DNA molecules. The result is an easy-to-interpret view of the genome that reveals genome architecture in a single image and provides better accuracy for NGS applications.

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