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Fluxion, Swift team up on NGS workflow for liquid biopsies
July 2015
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SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—In advance of the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting earlier this year, Fluxion Biosciences Inc. and Swift Biosciences Inc. announced a new workflow for oncology clinical research designed to detect somatic mutations from a routine blood draw. The jointly developed workflow utilizes Fluxion’s IsoFlux System for circulating tumor cell (CTC) enrichment and Swift’s Accel-Amplicon technology for high-sensitivity variant detection using low starting inputs.
 
The companies note that liquid biopsies represent a major breakthrough in the ability to detect molecular changes in tumor progression without the need for a tissue biopsy, with the potential to characterize cancer in real time using only a routine blood draw, enabling targeted therapies to be used simultaneously to monitor for response and resistance. Until recently, they say, this approach has been limited by the available amount of tumor DNA that can be recovered from peripheral blood samples. The IsoFlux System enriches rare tumor cells circulating in the blood using a combination of epithelial and mesenchymal markers and delivers them at high purity for molecular analysis. Swift’s Accel-Amplicon 56G Oncology Panel provides sensitive mutation detection across 56 cancer-related genes using very low starting DNA inputs from the IsoFlux System, making this combination of technologies especially appropriate, the collaborators note, for liquid biopsy samples.
 
“We expect the combination of blood-based tumor DNA enrichment and broad tumor gene coverage to be put to good use by the types of institutions that are pursuing diagnostic strategies based on liquid biopsies,” said Michael Schwartz, vice president of marketing at Fluxion.
 
Adds David Olson, CEO at Swift Biosciences: “This workflow is a wonderful example of how innovators can collaborate to produce advanced tools for oncology research. Fluxion's CTC enrichment is a great pairing with our 56G Oncology Panel, and we are pleased that our respective technologies can be used together to shine new light on cancer biology.”
 
The combined workflow begins with a standard blood draw and proceeds to CTC enrichment using epithelial and mesenchymal antibodies. The captured CTCs undergo DNA extraction and purification without the need for whole-genome amplification. The genomic DNA then goes through target enrichment using the 56G Oncology Panel and library preparation for Illumina sequencers. The resulting data utilizes a custom bioinformatics pipeline designed to identify low-frequency variants from liquid biopsy samples.
 
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