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GEN News Highlights : Sep 20, 2011

Ambry Purchases RainDance’s ThunderStorm System for Targeted Sequencing

Instrument due for launch next month is based on company’s RainStorm Droplet technology.

Ambry Genetics has purchased RainDance Technologies’ new ThunderStorm™ system for genetic testing and next-generation targeted sequencing services. The firm is launching the system next month and has billed it as a fully automated and walkaway targeted sequencing platform that enables processing of 96 samples per day. “Our ThunderStorm System is a cost-effective solution that enables the comprehensive interrogation and accurate classification of all variation contained in any region of the genome with increased accuracy, greater unitofmity, and more complete coverage than any other sequence enrichment method,” claims chief marketing officer Andy Watson.

ThunderStorm exploits RainDance’s microdroplet-based RainStorm™ technology. The platform technology essentially encapsulates each target for evaluation of sorting—such as a single molecule, reaction, or cell—into an aqueous droplet that represents the functional equivalent of an individual test tube, and which is processed on a disposable chip that has no moving parts or valves. The technology has the capacity to produce picoliter-volume droplets at a rate of 10 million per hour.

“The RainDance ThunderStorm system is a true game changer both in terms of processing speed and data quality,” comments Ardy Arianpour, vp of business development at Ambry. “We look forward to rolling out a portfolio of services based on this technology platform to our customers.”

In March RainDance teamed up with Ambry to develop and commercialize a screening panel that will allow scientists to perform sequence analysis of entire coding regions associated with over 220 key drug metabolism-linked genes including transporters, receptors, regulators, and all pharmacodynamic and pharmacogenetic genes as well as all FDA-identified pharmacogenomic biomarker genes. The new panel, provided as part of the Ambry ADME sequencing service, will employ RainDance’s primer design methods and flagship microdroplet-based RDT 1000 platform.