Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 12:22 EDT

Roche NimbleGen and BGI Develop Advanced MHC Region Capture Technology for Human Disease and Biomedical Research

November 28, 2011

SHENZHEN, China, November 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ –

Roche NimbleGen, Inc. and BGI, the world’s largest genomic organization,
announced that they have developed a Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC)
region capture technology based on NimbleGen SeqCap EZ Choice Library, a
revolutionary process for the enrichment of the MHC region. This newly
developed approach allows easy capture and enrichment of these highly
repetitive regions and enables the generation of deep sequencing coverage of
the human MHC region. This new sample preparation approach overcomes the
limitations of traditional methods of PCR and genomic enrichment used for
disease and drug research.

Major Histocompatibility Complex is a large cluster of genes found on
the short arm of chromosome 6, covering a 3.6Mb region that includes 150
expressing genes. MHC has been shown to play a critical role in the
development or progression of hundreds of diseases, including cancers, AIDs,
diabetes, arteriosclerosis and leukemia. Given its integral function in the
regulation of immune system, MHC has become a key target in drug research
and development for a number of diseases.

MHC shows a high degree of polymorphism which complicates the studies of
genes in this region, and its gene density (37 per Mb) is five times higher
than the average gene density of the whole genome (7 per Mb). Because of it
polymorphic nature, linkage disequilibrium, and inheritance of haplotype,
MHC has been targeted for a wide range of research applications, including
population evolution, paternity testing, HLA typing and organ transplant

This new MHC region capture technology not only targets the traditional
MHC region (3.37MB), its targets approximately 1.6Mb of the regions
surrounding MHC, providing a total of 4.97Mb (chr6: 28477797-33448354) and
includes 8 known haplotypes.

“This new technology enables targeted sequencing of 97% or more of the
overall MHC region, and close to 100% coverage of the gene coding regions,”
said Hui Jiang, Technical Specialist at BGI. “The high accuracy of this new
technology is demonstrated by a 99.42% concordance with traditional
genotyping technologies. But not only does this technology enable accurate
genotyping of known SNPs, it provides the opportunity to discover novel

“This MHC region capture technology had been optimized by advanced probe
design and capturing methods with Roche NimbleGen, which greatly increases
the coverage and capture efficiency of MHC region compared to all other
approaches we have attempted in the past. Meanwhile, the pooling technology
has been improved, which not only can efficiently capture multiple samples
in a single reaction, but it also significantly reduces the cost. I believe
the combination of this revolutionary capture technology with
high-throughput sequencing technologies will help advance research and
development of new medicines for human diseases.” said Jiang.

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in
research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and
diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly
differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and
CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based
cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s
personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic
tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and
survival of patients. In 2010, Roche had over 80’000 employees worldwide and
invested over 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 47.5
billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of
the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan.
For more information: http://www.roche.com.

About BGI

BGI was founded in Beijing, China, in 1999 with the mission to become a
premier scientific partner for the global research community. The goal of
BGI is to make leading-edge genomic science highly accessible, which it
achieves through its investment in infrastructure, leveraging the best
available technology, economies of scale, and expert bioinformatics
resources. BGI, and its affiliates, BGI Americas and BGI Europe, have
established partnerships and collaborations with leading academic and
government research institutions as well as global biotechnology and
pharmaceutical companies, supporting a variety of disease, agricultural,
environmental, and related applications.

BGI has a proven track record of excellence, delivering results with
high efficiency and accuracy for innovative, high-profile research: research
that has generated over 170 publications in top-tier journals such as Nature
and Science. BGI’s many accomplishments include: sequencing one percent of
the human genome for the International Human Genome Project, contributing 10
percent to the International Human HapMap Project, carrying out research to
combat SARS and German deadly E. coli, playing a key role in the
Sino-British Chicken Genome Project, and completing the sequence of the rice
genome, the silkworm genome, the first Asian diploid genome, the potato
genome, and, more recently, have sequenced the human Gut Metagenome, and a
significant proportion of the genomes for the1000 Genomes Project,

For more information about BGI, please visit http://www.genomics.cn

For life science research only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

NIMBLEGEN and SEQCAP are trademarks of Roche.

All other product names and trademarks are the property of their
respective owners.

        For further information please contact:

        Roche Diagnostics
        Dr. Burkhard Ziebolz
        Phone: +49 8856 604830
        Email:  burkhard.ziebolz@roche.com

        Roche NimbleGen
        Kary Staples
        Phone: +1-608-218-7623
        Email: kary.staples@roche.com
        [../../../../ziebolzb/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Dokumente%20und%20Einstellungen/maurer/Lokale%20Einstellungen/Temp/Service_Business/Certified_Service_Providers/imaGenes/Co-mktg/kary.staples@roche.com ]

        Hui Jiang,
        Associate Director, S&T
        Email:  jianghui@genomics.cn


        Bicheng Yang
        Public Communication Officer
        Phone: +86-755-82639701
        Email:  yangbicheng@genomics.cn


SOURCE Roche Diagnostics GmbH

Source: PR Newswire