Press Releases


Menarini-Silicon Biosystems and Swift Biosciences Announce Collaboration to Offer Customized NGS Technologies for Tumor Cell Analysis

Products Optimized for Targeted Resequencing and Exome Sequencing of FFPE Cells

BOLOGNA, Italy, October 25, 2016 – Menarini-Silicon Biosystems Inc., a developer and manufacturer of technologies and products that help uncover the biological complexities of dis­ease at the single-cell level, and Swift Biosciences, Inc., a developer of innovative technologies for sample preparation for next-generation sequencing (NGS), today announced their collaboration to offer customized NGS products for oncology research and diagnostics. Marketed by Menarini-Silicon Biosystems, the first two products developed for tumor cells from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples allow users to obtain high-quality, NGS results from 100 to 300 tumor and stromal cells in an optimized workflow downstream of Menarini-Silicon Biosystems’ DEPArray™ cell sorting platform.

“We are excited to continue our technology collaboration with Swift Biosciences to offer our cus­tomers reliable solutions for the genetic analysis of cells derived from FFPE tissue samples,” said Giuseppe Giorgini, CEO of Menarini-Silicon Biosystems. “This new offering integrates two premier technologies, our DEPArray cell sorting System and Swift Biosciences’ Accel-NGSâ 2S and Accel-Ampliconsä, to provide simple, complete and optimized workflows for high-quality genetic results of FFPE tumor cells.”

Dr. Timothy Harkins, President and CEO of Swift Biosciences, said, “Our partnership with Menarini-Silicon Biosystems shows how complementary technologies and know how can revolutionize oncology research by unlocking the treasure trove of FFPE samples that have been previously unable to be characterized.  Together, we are helping cancer researchers perform whole exome and targeted re-sequencing of pure cell types, and often just using a few hundred cells.”

DEPArray OncoSeek Panel & DEPArray LibPrep Kit

Starting from minute and low-cellularity FFPE specimens, and customized for analysis of tumor and stromal cells isolated with the DEPArray system, the two new products now give access to samples that were previously inaccessible for genetic analysis.

The DEPArray OncoSeek Panel will allow simultaneous analysis of sequence variants and copy number alterations focused on cancer-associated genes. The DEPArray OncoSeek Panel workflow employs a streamlined single tube, 2-hour reaction, generating reliable ready-to-sequence Illumina-compatible libraries. The DEPArray LibPrep Kit will allow researchers to build high complex NGS libraries starting from a few hundred FFPE cells that contain low amounts of damaged and fragmented DNA. This product enables a variety of downstream genetic applications, including either low-pass or deep whole genome sequencing and whole exome sequencing that utilizes hybridization capture probes for target enrichment.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

About Swift Biosciences – The NGS Library Company

Swift Biosciences, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, specializes in sample preparation for next-generation sequencing (NGS). The energetic, highly innovative company focuses on creating better tools to empower NGS technologies and to deliver superior science. Swift Biosciences’ products are designed to help customers analyze samples faster, easier, and with greater sensitivity and accuracy while being compatible with leading instrumentation.

The company opened its doors in February 2010, and its product development focuses on creating products that are well-regarded by both customers and multiple industries, such as the agrigenomics, pharmaceutical, academic, biotechnology, and oncology research fields. For more information, visit http://www.swiftbiosci.com/ and follow Swift Biosciences on Twitter (@SwiftBioSci). 

About Menarini-Silicon Biosystems — The Single-Cell Precision Company

Menarini-Silicon Biosystems Inc., based in San Diego, Calif. and Bologna, Italy, is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Menarini Group, a multinational pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostics company headquartered in Florence, Italy, with a heritage of over 130 years and over 16,000 employees in more than 100 countries. The company manufactures and sells the DEPArray system, which enables researchers to automatically identify, quantify, and recover individual rare cells with single-cell precision.

For more information visit http://www.siliconbiosystems.com and follow on Twitter @SiliconBio.

Topics: FFPE, NGS, target sequencing, exome sequencing