Menarini-Silicon Biosystems Inc, Bologna, Italy, and Swift Biosciences Inc, Ann Arbor, Mich, have paired up to offer customized next-generation sequencing (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.

Starting from minute and low-cellularity FFPE specimens, and customized for analysis of tumor and stromal cells isolated with the DepArray system, the DepArray OncoSeek panel and LibPrep kit now give access to samples that were previously inaccessible for genetic analysis.

The panel will allow simultaneous analysis of sequence variants and copy number alterations focused on cancer-associated genes. The workflow employs a streamlined single tube, 2-hour reaction, generating reliable ready-to-sequence Illumina-compatible libraries. The DepArray LibPrep kit will enable researchers to build high-complexity NGS libraries starting from a few hundred FFPE cells that contain low amounts of damaged and fragmented DNA. The 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.

“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,” says Giuseppe Giorgini, CEO of Menarini-Silicon Biosystems. “This new offering integrates two premier technologies—our DepArray cell sorting system and Swift Biosciences’ Accel-NGS 2S and Accel-Amplicons—to provide simple, complete, and optimized workflows for high-quality genetic results of FFPE tumor cells.”

“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,” says Timothy Harkins, PhD, president and CEO of Swift Biosciences. “Together, we are helping cancer researchers perform whole-exome and targeted resequencing of pure cell types, and often just using a few hundred cells.”

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

For more information, visit Menarini-Silicon Biosystems and Swift Biosciences.