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Vela Diagnostics Licenses Technology from UCSF for Oncology, Infectious Disease Testing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) –Vela Diagnostics announced today it has licensed two methods from the University of California, San Francisco for enriching rare sequences, and plans to use the technologies to develop oncology and infectious disease tests, including for cell-free DNA and RNA testing and microbiology tests.

The methods, known as Finding Low Abundance Sequences by Hybridization (FLASH) and Depletion of Abundant Sequences by Hybridization (DASH) were developed in the UCSF lab of Joseph DeRisi, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UCSF and co-president of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.

The UCSF team developed FLASH to enrich for low-abundant sequences in complex libraries, and have demonstrated that they can use it to enrich, for instance, bacterial or viral antibiotic resistance genes by over tenfold, compared to randomly fragmented cDNA libraries developed from patient samples, according to a statement from Vela. DASH is a single-tube method to deplete undesirable sequences.

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

In the statement, Vela Diagnostics CEO Michael Tillmann called the deal "a great opportunity for us, and we are now in a position to power our further developments of the oncology and virology portfolios by these innovative methods."