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Bionano Genomics, NuProbe Global Collaborate on Reproductive Health, Cancer Liquid Biopsies

NEW YORK – Bionano Genomics and China's NuProbe Global on Wednesday announced a collaboration on reproductive health and oncology liquid biopsy testing.

Under the procurement and collaboration agreement, NuProbe will integrate its quantitative amplicon sequencing (QASeq) and blocker displacement amplification (BDA) technologies with Bionano's Saphyr optical genome mapping platform for research and product development.

Financial and other details were not disclosed.

"Currently, in both reproductive health and oncology, some variants cannot be detected by NGS, such as structural variants greater than 1 kb, and some gene fusions are under-detected," NuProbe CEO Yingshuang Chai said in a statement. "Bionano is a new cytogenetic technology that we have evaluated as a powerful complement to existing NGS technologies. Combined with our QASeq and BDA technologies, it can effectively help clinicians to identify the location and causes of disease."

NuProbe, based in Shanghai and Houston, offers genomic and molecular diagnostic technologies to improve the sensitivity of sequencing. The firm signed a deal with AcornMed in April to develop cancer minimal residual disease detection products.

BDA is a PCR-based mutation enrichment technology that can reduce wild-type amplification efficiency and increase low-frequency mutation signals while QASeq uses unique molecular identifiers to quantify mutations and copy number variants in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue, fresh or frozen tissue, or cell-free DNA samples from blood.

"The Bionano optical genome mapping system provides direct and unambiguous identification and characterization of large-scale DNA structural variants without complex bioinformatics," George Church, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and a member of NuProbe's scientific advisory board, said in a statement. "NuProbe's BDA technology helps zoom in on low-frequency variants with single-base resolution. This seems a great match to provide genomics and clinical researchers with the gamut of DNA variant information from large to small."