Rubicon Genomics Inc, Ann Arbor, Mich, has launched an early access program for its ThruPlex Plasma-seq kit for the preparation of DNA libraries to analyze cell-free DNA found in plasma and other biofluids. Designed to detect biomarkers and genetic mutations using cell-free DNA, the kit eliminates the need for invasive and costly tissue biopsies.

Liquid biopsies are expected to transform cancer screening, diagnostics, and treatment, enabling widespread adoption of precision and personalized medicine. Noninvasive prenatal screening and diagnostics based on circulating DNA can also benefit from the kit’s increased sensitivity.

Developed for Illumina next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms, the kit has been evaluated by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and Cancer Research UK (CRUK) in Cambridge, UK. Evaluations conducted by both institutions validated the positive data generated by Rubicon’s researchers.

According to Charles Massie, a CRUK researcher, the ThruPlex Plasma-seq kit is the easiest to follow and has the most streamlined protocol—and importantly, the fewest cleanup steps.” Massie tested ThruPlex Plasma-seq for genomic analyses for use in an upcoming cancer study. “In this trial, we were able to successfully make DNA libraries from just one nanogram of sample input,” he says.

The kit produces highly reproducible NGS libraries from less than 1 ng up to 30 ng of cell-free DNA in plasma. The optimized repair and ligation chemistries and a modified protocol provide higher library diversity at low input amounts and broad and consistent guanine-cytosine coverage. With its simple and fast workflow, the kit requires only three steps in a single tube and 2 hours of time, with no purification or sample transfers. It is intended for use with plasma samples for applications including analysis of circulating tumor DNA using whole genome, whole exome, and targeted gene sequencing, as well as for noninvasive prenatal testing.

James Koziarz, Rubicon.

James Koziarz, Rubicon.

“Precision medicine for cancer and other applications is an idea whose time has come,” says James Koziarz, PhD, chief executive at Rubicon. “Our original ThruPlex kits were successfully used for proof-of-principle oncology research using plasma samples, but this new product provides even greater sensitivity and the capability to analyze cell-free DNA to identify cancer biomarkers, monitor disease evolution, and assess response to treatment.”

Koziarz adds, “Rubicon technology is already used in the fertility field, and we expect ThruPlex Plasma-seq will facilitate detection of embryo abnormalities as part of noninvasive prenatal testing.”

Interested researchers are encouraged to apply for the ThruPlex Plasma-seq early access program. Upon submission of a brief proposed evaluation plan, applicants will be given the opportunity to purchase and use the product at a significantly reduced price.

For more information, visit Rubicon Genomics.