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Roche Announces Sequence Capture Services for Genomic Enrichment Available through Service Partner SeqWright

(PresseBox) (Madison, ) Roche NimbleGen announces Sequence Capture services now available through a partnership with SeqWright, a world-wide leader in custom genomic and molecular biology services. SeqWright will provide targeted resequencing services which couple Roche NimbleGen's Sequence Capture microarray technology with SeqWright's existing 454 Sequencing services on the Genome Sequencer FLX system. The addition of NimbleGen Sequence Capture Arrays to SeqWright's portfolio allows the company to now offer the most advanced and comprehensive targeted resequencing services available. SeqWright's clients will be able to take advantage of the NimbleGen 2.1M Human Exome Array or custom targeted human resequencing services for regions ranging from 100kb up to 30Mb. This service will dramatically decrease the time and cost required for targeted and human exome resequencing projects, thereby making these types of studies more readily accessible to researchers.

"We are excited to be able to provide a rapid, cost effective service that will enable researchers to advance their knowledge of genetic disease factors for both basic and clinical research. The combination of NimbleGen Sequence Capture arrays with next generation sequencing capabilities is truly an ideal marriage of technologies. As a CLIA certified facility, providing this service will enable applications of targeted resequencing and whole-exome sequencing from disease pathway studies to cancer research and much more." said Fei Lu, M.D., CEO of SeqWright.

According to Dr. Gerd Maass, CEO of Roche NimbleGen, "Targeted enrichment and sequencing is a significant progression in focused research and furthering our understanding of the differences in our genetic makeup. The impact it will have on personalized healthcare is exciting as we can now quickly target and decipher only the most relevant part of the genome, the human exome, on a single microarray. This might provide us with a quicker and more cost-effective way to help us understand common and complex diseases facilitating their diagnosis and treatment. This partnership will further genetic discovery and research in extending access of these cutting-edge technologies through our service partner, SeqWright."

Technology Background

Human exome sequencing is considered by many researchers to be "the holy grail" of resequencing studies that will ultimately lead to significant biomedical breakthroughs. Exons are the most functionally relevant portion of the genome and are comprised of short segments of DNA that provide the genetic blueprint for proteins. As such, exome sequencing could enable the discovery of much of the functional variation that is responsible for many common and rare diseases (e.g. cancer and Alzheimer's disease). Exome resequencing is also expected to possibly shed light on why diseases like diabetes occur more often in certain populations, and could help uncover why drugs are effective only in a subset of the individuals or population. Prior to the release of NimbleGen Sequence Capture 2.1M Human Exome microarrays, the sequencing of the exome was neither technically nor economically feasible, as conventional PCR methods for the preparation of "all" human-coding exons are far too expensive and time-consuming. In 2009, the latest technologies from Roche NimbleGen, the Sequence Capture 2.1M Human Exome arrays, and 454 Life Sciences, the GS FLX Titanium Sequencing series reagents, have made complete human exome sequencing a reality, and will ultimately produce technology to feed the research pipeline and nourish the development of personalized healthcare.

Roche NimbleGen is a leading innovator, manufacturer, and supplier of a proprietary suite of DNA microarrays, consumables, instruments and services. Roche NimbleGen produces high-density arrays of long oligonucleotide probes that provide greater information content and higher data quality necessary for studying the full diversity of genomic and epigenomic variation. The enhanced performance is made possible by Roche NimbleGen's proprietary Maskless Array Synthesis (MAS) technology, which uses digital light processing and rapid, high-yield photochemistry to synthesize long oligonucleotide, high-density DNA microarrays with extreme flexibility. For more information about Roche NimbleGen, please visit the company's website at www.nimblegen.com

For life science research use only.

NIMBLEGEN, 454 Life Sciences, 454 and GS FLX TITANIUM are trademarks of Roche.

About Roche Diagnostics Deutschland GmbH

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world's leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As the world's biggest biotech company and an innovator of products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people's health and quality of life. Roche is the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics and drugs for cancer and transplantation, and is a market leader in virology. It is also active in other major therapeutic areas such as autoimmune diseases, inflammatory and metabolic disorders and diseases of the central nervous system. In 2008 sales by the Pharmaceuticals Division totalled 36.0 billion Swiss francs, and the Diagnostics Division posted sales of 9.7 billion francs. Roche has R&D agreements and strategic alliances with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai, and invested nearly 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D in 2008. Worldwide, the Group employs about 80,000 people. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.roche.com.

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