WaferGen Announces Purchase of SmartChip Products by Contract Services Company Directed by Founder and Organizer of Japanese Human Genome Project
FREMONT, Calif., July 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — WaferGen Biosystems, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: WGBS), a leading developer of state-of-the-art genomic analysis systems, today announced that DNA Chip Research Inc. (DCRI), a Japanese contract services provider in functional genomics-based technologies and biology directed by the founder and organizer of the Japanese Human Genome Project, has purchased SmartChip products, including 100 SmartChips. DCRI will provide SmartChip Real-Time PCR services to Japanese scientists.
“DCRI is an important company in the evolving genomic analysis market in Japan, whose director, Kenichi Matsubara, is the founder and organizer of the Japanese Human Genome Project,” said Alnoor Shivji, chairman and CEO, WaferGen. “We are pleased that they have agreed to exclusively use the SmartChip Platform to perform high throughput, high-density real-time PCR for their customers in Japan. Providing the use of the SmartChip System to researchers in Japan will help to implement our commercialization strategy to expand customer adoption of the SmartChip System into targeted biopharmaceutical companies and translational medical centers.”
“We chose the SmartChip System to supplement our microarray offerings in order to attract advanced molecular biologists to use our services, as the SmartChip System offers powerful Real-Time PCR technologies with high-throughput analytical capabilities,” said Dr. Ryo Matoba, President, DNA Chip Research Inc. “By helping to identify more biomarkers more efficiently, it will provide researchers with new knowledge. We foresee the use of SmartChip by a significant number of Japanese researchers as they search for medicines to target hard-to-treat diseases.”
DCRI plans to offer microRNA and oncogene and custom gene screening services to their pharmaceutical and academic customers using the SmartChip System and anticipates the use of multiple SmartChips to accommodate research needs, including the initial order of 100 SmartChips. Purchases of the SmartChip System products in Japan are handled through WaferGen’s distributor, Takeda Rika Kogyo Co., Ltd.
DCRI is one of ten early-access customers using the SmartChip platform to advance genetic research results through the improved identification and validation of biomarkers enabled by its high-throughput capability.
The SmartChip Real-Time PCR System
The SmartChip Real-Time PCR System is a genomic analysis platform that combines the high-throughput capability and cost efficiencies of existing microarrays, with the sensitivity and accuracy of real-time PCR, offering identification and validation capability in a single platform. The result will be the ability to conduct gene expression research at a fraction of the time and cost currently produced by existing instrument systems. The SmartChip System will provide a number of key ease-of-use features including content-ready chips with gene panels optimized for microRNA, cancer, and whole genome.
WaferGen is in the early stages of commercializing the SmartChip System, and is currently offering the SmartChip System and the SmartChip Gene Expression Profiling Services as part of its revenue-generating Early-Access Program. This program has resulted in a total of ten Early-Access customers who have purchased systems and/or services, including four who have purchased SmartChip Systems for their research projects. This early success will support the company’s primary focus on project-based programs targeting the top 20 biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and the top 40 translational medicine centers.
The SmartChip System includes the 5,184-assay SmartChip, the SmartChip Cycler, and SmartChip Nanodispenser or Multi-Sample Dispenser for investigating candidate genes and microRNA panels for associate changes within disease states. The SmartChip Gene-Expression Profiling Services are provided to universities, research hospitals, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies by WaferGen scientists at the company’s headquarters facility in Fremont, Calif.
About DNA Chip Research Services Inc.
DNA Chip Research Inc. was founded in 1999 to conduct business in the development of functional genomics-based technologies and biology and for contract services to Japanese scientists, including university professors in medical, biological, agricultural fields; R&D researchers in pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and human health companies; and researchers in national institutes. DCRI provides researchers with expertise of experimental designs and analytical support as well as conducting experiments. The Director, Kenichi Matsubara, is the founder and organizer of the Japanese Human Genome Project. He is the originator of the BodyMap, in which thousands of messenger RNAs that are assembled in various tissues and cells are measured individually. DCRI currently offers microarray services and has recently started offering MammaPrint, a microarry based molecular diagnostic test that is used to assess the risk that a breast tumor will spread to other parts of the body (metastasis). In addition, they have their own biomarker discovery program.
WaferGen Biosystems, Inc. is a leader in the development, manufacture and sale of state-of-the-art systems for genome analysis for the life science and pharmaceutical industries. Based on collaborations established with leading research institutions, WaferGen believes that the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System is positioned as the platform of choice for biomarker identification and validation. Combined with next-generation chemistry and optimized assays being developed by WaferGen under the guidance of David Gelfand, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and one of the pioneers of PCR, this innovative system promises to deliver significant speed and cost advantages to researchers in the gene expression and genotyping markets.
This press release contains certain “forward-looking statements”. Such statements include statements relating to the expected benefits and advantages of the SmartChip service for gene-expression research, the expected benefits and advantages of the SmartChip technology to other applications, the expected throughput levels of the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System, statements regarding the use of the SmartChip by a significant number of Japanese researchers in the future, and other statements relating to future events or to the company’s future financial performance and are not historical facts, including statements which may be preceded by the words “intends,” “may,” “will,” “plans,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “predicts,” “estimates,” “aims,” “believes,” “hopes,” “potential” or similar words.
Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, are based on certain assumptions and are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of the company. Actual results may differ materially from the expectations contained in the forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause such differences include the risks that: (i) the company may be unsuccessful in commercially developing its products or in achieving market acceptance of new and relatively unproven technologies; (ii) the company will need to raise additional capital to meet its business requirements in the future and the company may not be able to do so on reasonable terms or at all; (iii) the company’s proprietary intellectual property rights may not adequately protect its products and technologies; and (iv) the company expects intense competition in its target markets, including from companies that have much greater resources than the company, and there can be no assurance that the company will be able to compete effectively. More detailed information about the company and the risk factors that may affect the realization of forward-looking statements is set forth in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009 and the Form 10Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2010. Investors and security holders are urged to read these documents free of charge on the SEC’s web site at www.sec.gov. The company does not undertake to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Contacts: WaferGen Mona Chadha firstname.lastname@example.org Joyce Strand email@example.com 510-651-4450
SOURCE WaferGen Biosystems, Inc.