A New Twist on Diagnostics Development: Partnership with SynBio Pioneers to Accelerate NGS-based Diagnostic Testing

Methylation and low-frequency variation detection made easier? By combining our integrated, comprehensive computational platform with synthetic DNA innovator Twist Bioscience’s NGS Methylation Detection System and Unique Molecular Identifier (UMI) Adapter System, researchers now have even more powerful tools in their NGS analysis Kit.

DNA methylation (the process of adding methyl groups to DNA segments) is an epigenetic modification that regulates gene expression and interplays with genetic and environmental alterations. Aberrant DNA methylation has been confirmed as one of the hallmarks of cancer, an area in which researchers are studying its patterns for use as a potential biomarker for prognosis, diagnosis, treatment response, and therapeutic targets. In the case of colorectal cancer, for example, methylation profiles obtained from blood liquid biopsy have shown potential in early-stage detection of disease.

Twist’s NGS Methylation Detection System provides robust sample preparation and target enrichment solutions for identifying methylated regions in the human genome, and its UMI Adapter System detects low-frequency variants in low-input sample sources such as cell-free DNA (cfDNA). Together, they can be used to better characterize and understand the genetic mechanisms linked to not only cancer, but also neurodegeneration and rare diseases.

The addition of the DNAnexus platform to this end-to-end NGS-based workflow means users will be able to easily explore and analyze the complex datasets generated by the systems in a single, scalable, cloud-based environment, thereby reducing their data analysis timeline after performing a sequencing run.

This, in turn, could reduce the time to design, validate, and commercialize new, high- quality, next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based diagnostic tests. “With the integrated DNAnexus platform, Twist customers can now reduce the complex data analysis bottleneck, which we believe will offer significant time savings and cost advantages,” said DNAnexus president John Ellithorpe, PhD.

The core of Twist’s DNA synthesis and engineering platform is a proprietary technology that “writes” DNA on a silicon chip. The company is leveraging this technology to manufacture a broad range of synthetic DNA-based products, including synthetic genes, tools for NGS preparation, and antibody libraries for drug discovery and development.

“Our customers can now access industry-leading computational infrastructure platforms to support their bioinformatics needs and reduce their data analysis timeline after performing a sequencing run with our NGS Methylation Detection and UMI Adapter

Systems,” said Twist CEO Emily M. Leproust, PhD. “This collaboration with DNAnexus is another example of our ongoing commitment to providing our customers with the tools they need for complete, customized, end-to-end workflows.”

Learn more. Engage with DNAnexus today.

DNAnexus expands with Microsoft Azure Cloud Platform

At DNAnexus we focus on enabling scientific research and discovery by removing barriers such as data compliance and security concerns, allowing our global community of customers to focus on innovation, not logistics. DNAnexus is the only cloud-based translational informatics platform that offers regional services in China, North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, and now, we are pleased to offer our customers a second region in Europe, Microsoft Azure’s West Europe.

Data generated in the EU is subject to strict European privacy regulations. DNAnexus has adopted policies and implemented new procedures that comply with European regulations. Consequently, DNAnexus users based in the European countries can upload genomic data from individuals in those countries to DNAnexus in compliance with European data privacy laws and regulations (e.g. GDPR) and stay in compliance with regulations regarding data localization.

The additional region in Europe will address the needs of the growing European BioPharma and Precision Medicine customers, allowing them to seamlessly access the Azure cloud platform via DNAnexus while complying with European regulations, including the GDPR and other data privacy regulations. Organizations will be able to collaborate with research centers in the EU and across the globe to analyze biomedical data on one common platform, while still maintaining compliance with European regulations.  The DNAnexus Platform allows data owners the ability to set up compliance policies and enforce local/regional restrictions around their data, eliminating the confusion and potential risks of collaborating globally.

Other security features enable researchers to log, monitor, and block any unauthorized data access and prevent users from downloading or copying data outside of their regional boundaries. These features, in addition to industry-leading data management, workflow and data provenance tracking features of the DNAnexus Platform, provide an environment to work with large-scale biomedical and genomics data that complies with EU GDPR and other data privacy regulations, enabling customers to focus on scientific discovery – not compliance.

You can find out more about DNAnexus expansion and offerings at Bio-IT World. Visit DNAnexus in booth #310 and learn more about our conference activities on our blog. You can also stop by our demo session at Microsoft booth #446 on Wednesday, May 16th at 3:30pm.

Partnership with St. Jude and Microsoft – Let’s talk about it at HIMSS 2018

We’re partnering in an exciting new collaboration with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Microsoft to analyze and store half a petabyte of pediatric cancer genomic data. This collaboration will accelerate discoveries and treatments to cure pediatric cancer and other rare diseases by giving researchers and clinicians the ability to collaborate globally and enabling the rapid generation and analysis of genomic data.

DNAnexus, deployed on Microsoft Azure, provides a secure and agile ecosystem in the cloud while simultaneously eliminating security, storage and speed limitations – all of which will enable St. Jude researchers to focus on complex problems on a collaborative, global scale.  

DNAnexus’ strength comes from its agile co-development process. We partner with our customers to solve new big data problems that are continuously evolving. Our team works closely with the St. Jude and Microsoft teams to determine the specific requirements and translated it into tailored solutions. From kick-off meeting to production deployment, its a seamless process that helps our customers and collaborators achieve their goals, no matter how ambitious.

With our secure, cloud-based infrastructure and complimentary tools, researchers will be able to integrate a multitude of disparate datasets, develop their own tools, and collaborate in a secure environment enhancing the sharing of data and accelerate discoveries.

You can read more on how we’ve joined forces to fuel scientific discovery in a joint press release from St. Jude here and Microsoft has written a great blog post where you can learn more about Microsoft Genomics Service and the partnership.

We’ll be at this year’s HIMSS 2018 Conference and available at Microsoft’s booth #3832 in Las Vegas, Nevada from March 5th – March 9th, as part of the larger Microsoft patient journey providing solutions in enabling more precise treatment and better patient outcomes.

Visit us at Microsoft booth #3832 and schedule a meeting with our team – email us at himss18@dnanexus.com.