SomaGenics Nabs NIH Grant to Develop cfDNA Platform

May 26, 2017
SomaGenics Nabs NIH Grant to Develop cfDNA Platform
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SomaGenics, a 20-year-old spinoff of nonprofit research organization SRI International has received a Phase 1 grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), to develop a cell-free DNA (cfDNA) liquid biopsy platform, a tool for researchers to analyze and log single-stranded DNA fragments less than 100 nucleotides long. The RealSeq-DC is built upon the same technology as the company's RealSeq-AC which facilitates the creation of small RNA sequencing libraries.

Both of SomaGenics’ RNA- and DNA-based RealSeq platforms are thought to aid researchers in finding biomarkers in biofluids (such as blood and saliva). The biomarkers have the potential to drive early drug development, as well as inform early disease diagnosis and detection, including fetal genetic disorders and certain cancers. Sergei Kazakov, Ph.D., principal investigator and vp of discovery research at SomaGenics, noted the RealSeq-DC technology is well-suited to sequencing cancer-specific single-stranded DNA fragments, and said the company expects it to become “a critical platform for identifying cf-DNA biomarkers for cancer.”

SomaGenics is also developing other platforms for the construction of microRNA sequencing libraries and for messenger RNA (mRNA) analysis. It already offers some analysis platforms that quantify fragmented RNA.