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May 30, 2012

Life Technologies, OpGen to Develop Tools for Microbial Analysis, Outbreak Management

  • Life Technologies and OpGen inked a deal to develop systems, technologies, and applications intended to improve the management and surveillance of microbial outbreaks in the public health and infectious disease markets.

    “Life Technologies is the ideal partner to demonstrate the value of next-generation sequencing in the public health and hospital laboratory,” notes Douglas White, CEO of OpGen. "OpGen's Whole Genome Mapping technologies in conjunction with the Ion Torrent system will provide a valuable new approach that will provide public health and clinical laboratories access to cutting-edge technologies for microbial analysis and outbreak management."

    Life Technologies and OpGen will focus on developing applications and analysis systems for food outbreak and infectious disease analysis. OpGen's Whole Genome Mapping technology provides a rapid, comprehensive structural analysis of microbial genomes. When combined with sequencing data it more accurately detects important novel genetic elements associated with toxicity, virulence, and drug resistance.

    As part of the collaboration, Life Technologies will also join the public health consortium recently established by OpGen to evaluate Whole Genome Mapping and sequencing for confirmation and management of disease outbreaks.

    “Just six months after we launched the PGM (Personal Genome Machine) and released the first semiconductor sequencing chip, scientists in China and Germany used Ion's technology to decode the genome of the deadly German E. coli outbreak strain and rapidly identify its unique combination of toxins and virulence genes,” points out Gregg Fergus, president of Ion Torrent, part of Life Technologies.

    “We are excited to be collaborating with OpGen because of their focus on delivering improved infectious disease detection capabilities to PGM- and Whole Genome Mapping-enabled laboratories on a global basis. The PGM is the only sequencing platform with the speed, simplicity, and scalability to allow public health officials to intervene in ongoing infectious disease outbreaks.”


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