OpGen achieves critical milestone with the development of the first Optical Mapping instrument for rapid and accurate microbial identification and characterization
January 8, 2009
OpGen, Inc the leader in microbial genome analysis today announced the placement of the first customer instrument for Optical Mapping. The stand-alone instrument and disposable cartridges are based on OpGen’s proprietary technology which allows for accurate and rapid microbial identification and characterization. The instrument allows for the generation of microbial genome Optical Maps within hours. OpGen is planning to launch the instrument into the lifesciences market in 2009 and expects to submit to the FDA for clinical diagnostic applications in 2010.
“OpGen’s microbial genome analysis technology has been used by commercial, academic, and government organizations worldwide, on a service basis, since the company’s inception,” said Noel Doheny, OpGen’s Chief Executive Officer. “However, our strategic vision is to empower our customers to perform Optical Mapping for themselves by making the instrument and disposables readily available. Achieving this critical milestone of delivering an easy-to-use instrument to such an important customer is a significant accomplishment and proof that OpGen will achieve its longer term vision.”
“OpGen is an important addition to our strategic investment portfolio,” said Troy M. Pearsall, Executive Vice President of Architecture and Engineering at In-Q-Tel. “We were pleased with the results of the blinded study which further validate the accuracy of the technology, and provides the ability to generate a fully assembled microbial optical map within hours of DNA extraction. This sort of rapid microbial analysis is an invaluable capability with specific applicability to the challenges facing the U.S. intelligence community.”
OpGen delivers breakthrough technology to identify and characterize microorganisms using a unique method to analyze DNA extracted directly from microbial cells. The system has been used by a wide range of organizations to study bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms important to human health. Currently, Optical Mapping has applications in food manufacturing and safety, pharmaceutical and lifesciences research as well as epidemiology. The technology was used by the FDA to successfully investigate the E. coli outbreak in 2006. Leading food and pharmaceutical companies, sequence centers and academic laboratories worldwide are some of OpGen’s most important customers. Ultimately the technology is intended for clinical diagnostics in the area of hospital and community acquired infections.
The In-Q-Tel partnership is linked to OpGen’s 2008 funding round led by CHL Medical Partners, Highland Capital Partners and Versant Ventures, with previous investor Mason Wells also participating.
OpGen is commercializing a novel single molecule DNA analysis technology, “Optical Mapping”, for rapid identification and characterization of microorganisms. The technology can be used to obtain detailed genetic information with no requirement for prior sequence data, PCR, cloning, or probes. Applications of the new commercial system include clinical microbial analysis, food manufacturing and safety, research, epidemiology and the development of novel molecular diagnostic products. For more information, please visit www.opgen.com or call 301-869-9683.