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NIH Awards Approximately $3M Grant for Research Involving WaferGen's SmartChip(TM) Real-Time PCR System at the University of Pittsburgh
Date:10/30/2008

Research Effort Includes Development and Application of PulmoSmartChip - A

Custom Molecular Phenotyping Assay for Lung Disease

FREMONT, Calif., Oct. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WaferGen Biosystems, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: WGBS), a leading developer of state-of-the-art gene expression, genotyping, cell biology and stem cell research systems, today announced that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a team of researchers at University of Pittsburgh an approximately $3 million grant to conduct novel gene expression research in the area of lung disease involving WaferGen's SmartChip(TM) Real-Time PCR System. This research team, led by Naftali Kaminski, M.D., Steven Shapiro, M.D., and Frank Sciurba, M.D., will apply gene expression profiling to lung samples from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The researchers' goal is to identify and validate disease relevant gene expression signatures and microenvironments, while also generating relevant module maps of COPD and IPF that will help to characterize the diseases and their underlying causes. WaferGen's SmartChip platform will be used to validate the researcher's gene expression findings in the area of lung disease.

Additionally, this NIH-funded research will include the development and application of the PulmoSmartChip, a custom designed SmartChip molecular phenotyping assay for COPD and IPF. The PulmoSmartChip, which will include the lowest number of genes that distinguish all phenotypes of IPF and COPD, will be used to identify and validate module networks capable of predicting the natural history of the diseases and patients' response to specific therapeutics. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh believe that the availability of these modules, as well as the validated PulmoSmartChip assay that allows their measurement using parallel quantitative real-time PCR, will be a significant step in laying th
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