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WaferGen and Leading Academic Medical Center Establish Genotyping Research Collaboration to Validate SNPs in Breast Cancer Using SmartChip(TM) Real-Time PCR System

FREMONT, Calif., April 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WaferGen Biosystems, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: WGBS), a leading developer of state-of-the-art genetic analysis systems, today announced the signing of a research collaboration with Duke University Medical Center scientists for WaferGen's SmartChip(TM) Real-Time PCR System. Under terms of the collaboration, the laboratory of Drs. John A. Olson, Jr., M.D., Ph.D. and Jeffrey R. Marks, Ph.D. in the Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy at Duke University Medical Center will conduct novel genotyping research projects using the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System in order to validate single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are related to breast cancer. Additionally, researchers will aim to examine the impact the validated SNPs have on patients' disease prognosis and response to treatment. While this is the fourth SmartChip research collaboration that WaferGen has entered into with leading U.S. researchers, it is the first to leverage the platform's unique genotyping capabilities for SNP validation.

WaferGen believes that the research conducted as part of this collaboration may lead to the discovery of the relative importance of specific SNPs associated with breast cancer. In turn, this critical genetic information may ultimately provide physicians with new tools for determining appropriate treatments for breast cancer, while also assisting biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in developing novel targeted therapeutics.

"The SmartChip platform's revolutionary nature and significant range of capabilities have enabled WaferGen to establish high-value collaborations with a number of the country's most prestigious research institutions," stated Alnoor Shivji, WaferGen's chairman and chief executive officer. "We are pleased to add Dr. Olson's group at Duke University Medical Center to our growing list of top-tier collaborators and are very excited to have his team leverage the unique genotyping capabilities of the SmartChip platform in the oncology arena. This is a therapeutic area that is of significant interest to WaferGen, as evidenced by the proprietary oncology gene panel assays that we have already developed for use with the SmartChip system."

"We are very pleased to be incorporating the SmartChip platform into the important breast cancer research programs that we are conducting. Particularly valuable for our research team is the fact that the SmartChip system will allow us to run many samples on a single chip, providing extremely fast time to results," said John A. Olson, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Surgery at Duke and a faculty member of Duke's Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy and its Centers for Genomic Medicine and Applied Genomics & Technology. "With the importance of the research that we are conducting in mind, we believe that it is essential to leverage the most advanced tools available."

About the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System

The SmartChip Real-Time PCR System(TM) is designed as the first whole genome, high-throughput gene expression real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) platform. WaferGen believes the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System will be the first platform to combine the high-throughput capability and cost efficiencies of existing microarrays, with the sensitivity and accuracy of real-time PCR. This innovative system, combined with next-generation chemistry and optimized assays being developed by WaferGen, promises to provide industry-leading throughput levels, while offering discovery and validation capabilities in a single step. The result is expected to be the ability to conduct gene expression and genotyping research at a fraction of the time and cost currently produced by existing instrument systems. It is estimated that the genetic analysis market alone (comprised of gene expression and genotyping analysis) had approximately $2.4 billion in worldwide revenues in 2006 ($1.74 billion for gene expression and $650 million for genotyping).

About WaferGen

WaferGen Biosystems, Inc. is a leader in the development, manufacture and sale of state-of-the-art systems for genetic analysis for the life science and pharmaceutical industries. The company is actively developing its SmartChip(TM) product for the gene expression and genotyping markets. SmartChip is being developed as the first whole genome, high throughput gene expression real-time PCR platform. This innovative system, combined with next-generation chemistry and optimized assays being developed by WaferGen, promises to deliver significant speed and cost advantages to researchers in the gene expression and genotyping markets. Based on collaborations established with leading research institutions, WaferGen believes that the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System is positioned as the platform of choice for biomarker discovery and validation. WaferGen currently markets its SmartSlide(TM) family of products to companies and organizations involved in stem cell and cell biology research. SmartSlide represents the first fluidics integrated micro-incubators enabling cell biology and stem cell research.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements". Such statements include statements relating to the company's goals, plans and projections, anticipated results of research, performance, reliability and cost-effectiveness of the company's SmartChip and other systems, and other statements that are not historical facts, including statements which may be preceded by the words "intends," "may," "will," "plans," "expects," "anticipates," "projects," "predicts," "estimates," "aims," "believes," "hopes," "potential" or similar words.

Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, are based on certain assumptions and are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of the company. Actual results may differ materially from the expectations contained in the forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause such differences include the risks that: (i) the company may be unsuccessful in commercially developing its products or in achieving market acceptance of new and relatively unproven technologies; (ii) the company will need to raise additional capital to meet its business requirements in the future and the company may not be able to do so on reasonable terms or at all; (iii) the company's proprietary intellectual property rights may not adequately protect its products and technologies; and (iv) the company expects intense competition in its target markets, including from companies that have much greater resources than the company, and there can be no assurance that the company will be able to compete effectively. More detailed information about the company and the risk factors that may affect the realization of forward-looking statements is set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008. Investors and security holders are urged to read this document free of charge on the SEC's web site at The company does not undertake to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


    Vida Communication (Media)             The Trout Group (Investors)
    On Behalf of WaferGen                  On Behalf of WaferGen
    Tim Brons                              Peter Rahmer
    415-675-7400                           646-378-2973           San Francisco, CA


                                           Christine Yang
                                           New York, NY

SOURCE WaferGen Biosystems, Inc.
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