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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 set-up.

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 diagnostic applications.


Schematic Illustration of pWGA. Our proprietary pWGA technology uses a multi-functional enzyme that contains both helicase and primase domains. The helicase unwinds dsDNA while the primase synthesizes primers, generating initiation sites for random, whole genome amplification.

     
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