RainDance Technologies Inc, Billerica, Mass, a genomics tools company simplifying the analysis of complex genetic diseases, has announced the formation of the RainDance HemOnc Consortium, composed of a select group of hematologic clinical research experts drawn from prominent comprehensive cancer centers in the United States and Europe.

In December, members of the consortium presented first data on a new ThunderBolts myeloid panel at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, in San Francisco. The first RainDance product codeveloped with the consortium, the ThunderBolts myeloid panel is a targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) assay that enables cancer researchers to analyze important genes implicated in the causation, prognosis, and recurrence of myeloid disorders.

The HemOnc Consortium partnered with RainDance to address the unmet need for a highly accurate, rapid, simple, and low-cost NGS panel to study myeloid disorders, especially in genes that are difficult to routinely detect with existing methods. The consortium will also work with RainDance to develop a proprietary digital PCR (dPCR) portfolio of cell-free mutation assays to study and monitor the status of important genes in hematologic oncology progression and relapse.


Torsten Haferlach, MD

“Munich Leukemia Laboratory (MLL) has worked with RainDance for several years to develop cutting-edge targeted sequencing panels for myeloid malignancies,” says Torsten Haferlach, MD, CEO of MLL and a member of the consortium. “The new ThunderBolts myeloid panel provides us with the most up-to-date and comprehensive assay for detecting myeloid gene mutations, and the ability to follow up sequencing by sensitively tracking mutations in plasma using RainDance’s digital PCR system.”

RainDance Technologies’ ultrasensitive genomic tools enable research into novel, noninvasive liquid biopsy applications that are expected to result in more accurate, reliable, cost-effective, and earlier detection of cancer and other inherited and infectious diseases.


Eric Padron, MD

The ThunderBolts myeloid panel covers approximately 50 genes, including full exons and targeted regions of challenging genes such as CEBPA, NOTCH1, NPM1, and IDH1&2. The panel provides 100% coverage at 100x sequencing depth and more than 95% coverage at 1000x depth, with greater than 95% uniformity—equivalent to sensitivity at or below 5% mutation frequencies. Starting input DNA requirements are as low as 10 ng. The workflow is also simple, with integrated sequencing and indexing adapters to eliminate library preparation, for a total turnaround time of less than 2 days from sample to sequencing data.

“We feel the ThunderBolts myeloid panel is an exciting tool that interrogates the spectrum of relevant genetic variants and may improve NGS workflow and library quality,” says Eric Padron, MD, a member of the consortium and section head of genomics and personalized medicine in the malignant hematology department at Moffitt Cancer Center.


Roopom Banerjee, RainDance Technologies

“Our goal with the ThunderBolts myeloid panel is to provide researchers and the industry with a single rapid, highly accurate and low-cost sequencing assay in an area of high unmet need,” says Roopom Banerjee, RainDance president and CEO. “This product pairs well with our RainDrop digital PCR system, which enables researchers to study and follow important driver mutations in circulating cell-free fluids.”

For more information, visit RainDance Technologies.