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WaferGen Announces High-Throughput SNP Genotyping Early Access Program to Expand Customer Base of SmartChip System

February 15, 2011

FREMONT, Calif., Feb. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — WaferGen Biosystems, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: WGBS), a leading developer of state-of-the-art genomic analysis systems, today announced that it is offering an early access program for high-throughput Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) Genotyping through its new SmartChip Real-Time PCR System. The offering is being made in response to customer demand to address the increasing speed and throughput needs of genomics researchers and is part of the company’s expansion on the early commercial success of its SmartChip System, specifically to enter an addressable $300 million SNP genotyping market.

“SNP Genotyping screening with the SmartChip System opens a new and large market opportunity for us, as it is focused on a $300 million addressable human and agriculture biotechnology genotyping market, part of a total SNP Genotyping market of approximately $2.8 billion. By improving on SNP Genotyping throughput in a flexible and low-cost manner, the SmartChip System offers researchers the ability to adopt a simple workflow for their mid-density SNP screening projects,” said Alnoor Shivji, chairman and chief executive officer.

“Our strategy is to expand the applicability and thereby the number of genomic research disciplines that can benefit from the high-throughput and transformative SmartChip System to address the workflow issues encountered in the modern genomics analysis workplace. As we work towards the full commercial launch of the SNP Genotyping application, we plan to continue to expand on the functionality and applicability of our SmartChip System beyond Gene Expression and SNP Genotyping. This will offer researchers the most productive and cost-effective genomic analysis products.”

Biopharmaceutical researchers use genotyping to measure the genetic variation in individuals for disease mapping or functional SNP screening. SNP Genotyping is also becoming an important scientific tool in agriculture biotechnology for trait mapping and population genetics, in addition to human disease uses. Using the WaferGen SmartChip Real-Time PCR System, genetic researchers will be able to address their SNP screening needs by using the SmartChip System’s high throughput, flexible and simple workflow, which result in cost-effective SNP studies.

  • High-throughput: Researchers can measure up to 384 samples in a single two hour run on the 5,184 nanowell SmartChip, equating to 10,000′s of data points in a single day.
  • Flexibility: SNP Genotyping on the flexible SmartChip System will offer a variety of formats to meet varying throughput needs, from tens to hundreds of SNPs and samples in various formats. This is achieved by using the SmartChip nanowell chip, an open format that does not suffer from the limitations that may be present on currently used closed microfluidic systems.
  • Ease of use: The SmartChip System provides an easy-to-use automated sample loading procedure that has minimal hands on and reduces the number of steps significantly per run.
  • Cost-effective solution: A low cost per SNP is achieved through low reagent consumption at 100nl reactions. The SmartChip System does not suffer from issues of large dead volume losses that may be suffered with microfluidic systems currently in use.

About WaferGen and the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System

WaferGen Biosystems, Inc. is a leader in the development, manufacture and sale of state-of-the-art systems for genomic analysis for the life science and pharmaceutical industries. The company currently offers the breakthrough SmartChip Real-Time PCR System, the next-generation Real-Time PCR system for discovery and validation of biomarkers, or gene expression patterns, on a single platform. WaferGen believes that the SmartChip system is ideal for researchers seeking to confirm discoveries made with the growing use of next-generation sequencing. In addition, the high throughput capabilities of the SmartChip system enable researchers to extend their research across large panels of genes, and hundreds of samples, at a very reasonable cost.

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, the SmartChip System is designed to provide accurate, highly sensitive and high-throughput gene expression profiling capabilities to researchers, clinicians and pharmaceutical companies.

In addition, the company offers an innovative fee-based service for gene-expression profiling using the SmartChip System. For additional information, please see http://www.wafergen.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain “forward-looking statements”. Such statements include statements relating to the company’s plans to expand on the functionality and applicability of the SmartChip System beyond Gene Expression and SNP Genotyping, statements regarding the ability of genetic researchers to address their SNP screening needs by using the SmartChip Systems, statements relating to the expected throughput levels of the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System, and other statements relating to future events 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 most recent Form 10-Q. Investors and security holders are urged to read this document 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.


    Contact:
    WaferGen
    510-651-4450

    Don Huffman, CFO
    don.huffman@wafergen.com

    Joyce Strand
    joyce.strand@wafergen.com

SOURCE WaferGen Biosystems, Inc.


Source: newswire