BioHelix has recently licensed a rapid and sensitive whole genome
amplification technology, pWGA, from Harvard University.
WGA techniques typically are used for amplifying total genomic DNA
for archiving as well as for downstream analysis including genotyping,
forensics, comparative genomic hybridization, and single cell analysis.
The novel Harvard technology utilizes a replication system that
mimics what nature has created, using an enzyme called primase to
synthesize primers to generate multiple initiation sites for random,
whole genome amplification as depicted in the figure below. There
are several key competitive advantages to this technology. Specifically,
pWGA is significantly faster, with a reaction time of less than
one hour to achieve maximal amplification. This rapid reaction time
is critical for use in the development of products targeted to the
clinical diagnostics field. In addition, pWGA is a simple, one-step,
one-tube isothermal reaction that does not require a complicated
BioHelix is currently targeting the pWGA platform for several different
product lines. One specific application is for the detection of
trace quantities of contaminating DNA found in biopharmaceutical
products, vaccine production, and enzymes used in clinical diagnostics.
The ability to rapidly detect low quantities of DNA contamination
can streamline biopharmaceutical process control by providing faster
identification of batch contamination. In addition, the detection
of trace amounts of contaminant DNA in the preparation of enzymes
is necessary for the production of ultra-pure reagents for sensitive