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Roche Launches 454 Sequencing Assays for High Sensitivity Genetic Variant Detection in Leukemia Samples to Drive Blood Cancer Research Worldwide

BRANFORD, Connecticut, April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Roche announced today the launch and immediate availability of the GS GType TET2/CBL/KRAS and the GS GType RUNX1 Primer Sets for comprehensive genetic variation detection in four key human genes using the company's 454 GS Junior and GS FLX Systems. The sequence-based assays offer a new solution for cancer researchers investigating the human TET2, CBL, KRAS and RUNX1 genes, which are known to be associated with developmental defects, disease progression, and residual disease in a variety of leukemias and myeloid malignancies. The assays enable deep sequencing of PCR amplicons covering key exon regions, and offer superior sensitivity and time to result compared to traditional Sanger capillary sequencing approaches.

Blood cancers such as leukemia and other myeloproliferative disorders cause rapid, abnormal growth of blood cells and are known to consist of a broad spectrum of subtypes. Currently, a variety of techniques are available to characterize leukemia types, including traditional Sanger capillary sequencing, cytogenetics, and cytomorphology, but are expensive, time-consuming and, in some instances, fail to offer the depth of analysis or sensitivity enabled by next-gen sequencing. Using the GS GType TET2/CBL/KRAS and the GS GType RUNX1 Primer Sets with 454 Sequencing Systems, researchers can detect genetic variants far below the Sanger limit of detection.

The assays, which include primer plates, protocols and dedicated analysis software, have been co-developed with and extensively tested at the MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory in Munich, Germany ( The GS GType TET2/CBL/KRAS Primer Set is the result of the International Robustness of Next-Generation Sequencing (IRON) study[1].

"Blood cancers consist of widely varying subtypes which can be difficult to characterize using traditional approaches," said Thomas Schinecker, President of 454 Life Sciences, a Roche Company. "We are pleased to offer a solution that leverages the strengths of the GS FLX and GS Junior System to deliver long, high-quality sequencing reads and enables better characterization of genetic variations in leukemia samples."

The GS GType TET2/CBL/KRAS and the GS GType RUNX1 Primer Sets are the latest additions to the menu of target-specific assays for the GS FLX and GS Junior Systems. Last year, Roche launched the GS GType HLA Primer Sets for high-resolution HLA genotyping. The company plans to continue to expand the menu of assays with future developments in areas of virology, oncology and immunology.

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world's largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche's personalized healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2011, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 42.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information:  

[1] Kohlmann A et al. Leukemia. 2011; 25(12): 1840-8.

For life science research only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

454, 454 LIFE SCIENCES, 454 SEQUENCING, GS FLX, GS GTYPE and GS JUNIOR are trademarks of Roche. All other product names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

For further information please contact:
Roche Diagnostics
Dr. Burkhard Ziebolz
Phone: +49-8856-604830
454 Life Sciences Corporation, a Roche Company
Katie Montgomery
Phone: +1-203-871-2300

SOURCE Roche Diagnostics
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