WaferGen to Present Technical Seminar at Harvard Medical School; Introduce Oncology Chip Product

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 General News
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FREMONT, Calif., May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- WaferGen Biosystems, Inc. (OTCBB:WGBS), a leading developer of state-of-the-art

genomic analysis systems, today announced that the company will present a technical seminar at Harvard Institutes of Medicine, Harvard Medical School on May 19, 2011 to highlight the
flexible, high-density, high-throughput SmartChip Real-Time PCR System and to officially launch its newest oncology chip to speed cancer research.

Christopher Sears, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Ambergen and a member of the WaferGen Scientific Advisory Board, will join a small group of researchers from Harvard to provide a program designed to offer participants a clear view of results, applications and potential of the state-of-the-art SmartChip Systems for genomic analysis for the life science and pharmaceutical industries.  As part of his discussion of how the SmartChip platform performs discovery, validation and screening of gene expression patterns in a high-density, high-throughput quantitative manner, Dr. Sears will profile a new oncology chip, a component of the SmartChip System, designed to speed cancer research.

The Harvard researchers (Longwood Community) will review their biomarker screening data generated using the SmartChip System in pilot studies involving a variety of disease models.

"High-throughput gene expression analysis is widely used as a discovery tool for genetic signatures of disease states as well as identifying genetic signatures associated with pharmacologic response.  There is a growing need for systems that can accomplish these tasks in a cost effective, easy-to-use, flexible and rapid fashion, key benefits of the SmartChip System. For example, given the number of pathways available on the newest version of the WaferGen oncology chip for the SmartChip System, they offer a significant reduction in cost while maintaining superior results," said Dr. Sears.  

Dr. Christopher Sears is currently responsible for overseeing the development of molecular diagnostic platforms for cancer, HIV, autoimmune, and other diseases at Ambergen.  He has held joint academic appointments in the field of oncology at Children's Hospital Boston, The Broad Institute, Harvard Medical School and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute where he was responsible for directing all projects and operations of the clinical genomics group. He devoted a significant portion of his time to developing technology platforms for allele and mutational analysis and employing these for target-oriented cancer clinical trials. Prior to his academic appointments, Dr. Sears was the Chief Scientific Officer at Biosift, a company he founded to commercialize his patented enterprise level computational biology software platform that become a market leader. Dr. Sears has served as a scientific advisor to molecular diagnostic and genetic testing companies including: Genzyme Genetics, Myriad Genetics and Invitrogen and as a key scientific advisor for the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the areas of genetics and statistics for the development of high throughput comparative forensics genomic technologies. He received his Doctorate from Harvard University in Molecular and Cellular Biology.  

The Harvard Catalyst Laboratory for Innovative Translational Technologies (HC-LITT) and the Harvard Catalyst Central Laboratory (HCCL) will host the seminar, which is open to the public.  The mission of HC-LITT is to provide the Harvard research community with early access to enabling leading-edge genomic and proteomic technologies. The mission of HCCL is to perform specialty tests in a CLIA-certified central laboratory at low cost and high consistent quality.  For additional information, go to http://catalyst.harvard.edu/news/news.html?p=3307&title=An+HC-LITT%2FHCCL+Seminar%3A+High-Density%2C+High-Throughput+Quantitative+Gene+Expression+Using+the+SmartChip+qPCR+System

The SmartChip Oncology Panel V2

The SmartChip Human Oncology Panel V2 is a more comprehensive pre-loaded, optimized gene-specific chip of the company's platform technology, the SmartChip System, which provides pathway based gene expression profiling primarily for cancer research.  Gene expression profiling, or how scientists measure the activity of thousands of genes to gain a global picture of cellular function, has become increasingly important in drug development in today's genomic research environment. By improving the identification and validation of genes and pathways associated with cancer, researchers can expedite the development of cancer therapies cost-effectively.

The SmartChip panels are chips that comprise 5,184 nanowells preprogrammed with gene-specific reaction content. The SmartChip Oncology Panel V2 expands the content directed at oncology research from 970 genes in Version 1 to 1250 genes.  Thus the wide varieties of pathways are further expanded to include new pathways and in certain pathways the content is intensified to provide more extensive coverage. The SmartChip Human Oncology Panel V2 provides pathway based gene expression profiling for oncology, and may also be used for immunology, metabolic and stem cell research.  

The 5,184 SmartChip nanowell chip uses a small amount of biological material to query a thousand genes in a single sample, enabling discovery of biomarkers while saving researchers time and money. The single SmartChip Panel is compatible with RNA extracted from a variety of sample types including cell lines, frozen tissue and formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissue (FFPE), one of the more difficult-to-work-with samples.  By applying Quantitative Real-Time PCR Expression Profiling, the SmartChip System combines the gene expression profiling of microarrays with the sensitivity and dynamic range of Real-Time PCR, the gold standard of gene expression studies.

Other chips available for the SmartChip System include the SmartChip Human microRNA Panel V2, which enables profiling of 1200 human microRNAs on a single nanowell chip, not possible on other real-time PCR systems.   WaferGen also offers Quick-Turnaround SmartChip Custom Panels to enable validation studies of specific genes of interest through customization of high-throughput, real-time PCR SmartChip assay panels – all on a quick-turnaround basis.

About WaferGen and the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System

WaferGen Biosystems, Inc. is a leader in the development, manufacture and sale of state-of-the-art systems for genomic analysis for the life science and pharmaceutical industries.  The company currently offers the breakthrough SmartChip Real-Time PCR System, the next-generation Real-Time PCR system for discovery and validation of biomarkers, or gene expression patterns, on a single platform. WaferGen believes that the SmartChip System is ideal for researchers seeking to confirm discoveries made with the growing use of next-generation sequencing.  In addition, the high throughput capabilities of the SmartChip System enable researchers to extend their research across large panels of genes, and hundreds of samples, at a very reasonable cost.

Combined with next-generation chemistry and optimized assays being developed by WaferGen under the guidance of David Gelfand, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and one of the pioneers of PCR, the SmartChip System is designed to provide accurate, highly sensitive and high-throughput gene expression profiling capabilities to researchers, clinicians and pharmaceutical companies.

In addition, the company offers an innovative fee-based service for gene-expression profiling using the SmartChip System.  For additional information, please see http://www.wafergen.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements".  Such statements include statements relating to the expected benefits and advantages of the SmartChip Human Oncology Panel V2, Quick-Turnaround SmartChip Custom Panels, and the SmartChip Human microRNA Panel V2, and the statements relating to the expanded market potential of the SmartChip System as a result of these Panels, statements relating to the expected benefits and advantages of the SmartChip service for gene-expression research, statements relating to the expected benefits and advantages of the SmartChip technology to other applications, statements relating to the expected throughput levels of the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System, and other statements relating to future events 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, 2010 and most recent 10Q.  Investors and security holders are urged to read this document free of charge on the SEC's web site at www.sec.gov.  The company does not undertake to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


Don Huffman, CFOdon.huffman@wafergen.com

Joyce Strandjoyce.strand@wafergen.com

SOURCE WaferGen Biosystems, Inc.

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