Life Technologies Corp is working with several partners to develop applications for its Ion Personal Genome Machine (PGM) system in HLA (human leukocyte antigen) analysis.
HLAs are found on the surfaces of all cells in the body, and individuals vary widely in the combination of HLA sub-types found in their tissues. Tissue typing by HLA analysis is an essential component of determining organ and bone marrow transplant compatibility between donors and patients. Accurate typing is needed to reduce the possibility of transplant rejection or the risk of graft versus host disease. HLAs are coded by a group of genes referred to as the MHC (major histocompatibility complex).
Life Technologies intends to enter into a Sponsored Research Agreement with the Histocompatibility, Immunogenetics, and Disease Profiling Laboratory at the Stanford Department of Pathology. The researchers include Dolly Tyan, PhD; Marcelo Fernandez-Vina, PhD; and Matthew Anderson, MD, PhD, who in a joint statement indicated, "Next-generation sequencing technologies offer an exciting new approach to understanding the unmapped genetic variation of the MHC. We believe the speed, throughput, and automated workflow of a system of this kind may help our efforts to better define this important genetic region for disease associations and clinical transplantation."
Howard Martin, PhD, of Addenbrookes Hospital – Cambridge has already begun working with the Ion PGM system and has deployed novel informatics strategies to obtain effective reads of the MHC using existing chemistries.
Source: Life Technologies Corp