Pharma Focus Asia

TwinStrand Biosciences Launches Duplex Sequencing Technology

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

TwinStrand Biosciences™, a next-generation DNA sequencing technology company, today announced the launch of TwinStrand Duplex Sequencing™ Technology kits at the annual Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) General Meeting in Marco Island, Florida. At launch, the company will offer their platform technology for two research applications: detection of minimal residual disease in acute myeloid leukemia patients (AML MRD) and a multi-species genetic toxicology assay for rapid identification of carcinogenic chemicals in preclinical testing, as well as detection of patients who have been environmentally exposed.

"Our technology allows for detection of ultra-rare mutations with unprecedented sensitivity and specificity, giving customers unparalleled confidence in their results," said Jesse Salk, founder, CEO and CSO of TwinStrand Biosciences. "Researchers struggled over many years to achieve the robust performance that our optimized chemistry and computational workflow realizes for Duplex Sequencing, and it is now accessible with our commercial launch."

Duplex Sequencing™ is a biochemistry- and software-based enhancement to existing next-generation sequencing platforms that improves accuracy by more than 10,000-fold. This dramatic performance boost enables researchers and clinicians to solve previously intractable genetic "needle in a haystack" problems by revealing the faint signals of ultra-low frequency DNA mutations that until now have been obscured by technical noise.

"TwinStrand Duplex Sequencing Technology can inform critical decisions in clinical medicine, public health and many other fields of science — on a faster time scale, where actions are most impactful," added Salk. "Cancers can be detected and treated sooner, drug resistance and residual disease can be identified earlier and carcinogenic chemicals can be recognized and managed quickly."

TwinStrand Duplex Sequencing Technology operates on a simple two-step process which makes it easy for any customer to carry out the full DNA-to-data workflow without the need of special resources or equipment. The platform capitalizes on optimized chemistry, which enables the user to complete library preparation in 1-2 days, and cloud-based informatics software, which provides the ability to fully process, analyze, interpret and graphically present multi-terabyte raw sequencing data in a simple yet effective manner, without the need for dedicated programmers or local high-powered computer hardware.

With TwinStrand's genetic toxicology application, organizations that have been unable to apply the power of next-generation DNA sequencing to a field dominated by older technologies now have a cutting-edge, highly sensitive and scalable product that enables early detection of carcinogenic chemicals years sooner than conventional methods. TwinStrand's AML MRD offering has demonstrated identification of residual disease at levels which are orders of magnitude lower than the nearest competing sequencing technology, allowing for far more precise patient risk stratification.

"Clinical trials and drug development efforts are increasingly seeking reliable, sensitive measures of disease burden to measure treatment response," noted Dr. Jerald Radich of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. "The Duplex Sequencing technology pioneered by TwinStrand has the potential of becoming the new gold standard for MRD detection."

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