April 1, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 7)

Enabling Technologies for Genomics and Personalized Medicine

Swift Biosciences is a fast-moving company focused on developing enabling technologies and products for genomics and personalized medicine. Our technologies provide customers with powerful new methods to examine disease-related genes. Our products are designed to help customers analyze samples faster, easier and with greater sensitivity and accuracy, while being compatible with existing instrumentation.

Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Innovations

Swift Biosciences is developing a suite of technology platforms to improve NGS sample preparation, an area that has not kept pace with recent improvements in instrumentation and bioinformatics. These platforms are based on proprietary protocols and reagents invented by Swift. Among the applications under development:

  • DNA library creation
  • Targeted selection
  • RNA-Seq

All of these applications share the features of being fast, easy and compatible with existing NGS instrumentation.

In February 2013, Swift launched the first product in a new line of kits for NGS sample preparation, Accel-NGS™ DNA Library Kit. NGS users can now produce PCR-free libraries with as little as 5 ng of input DNA. The highly efficient Swift adaptation technology eliminates the need for PCR, thereby minimizing base composition bias and fidelity issues while reducing the input requirement. The unique, two-step adaptation process also reduces adapter dimer formation to maximize sequencing output. Unlike other kits, the Accel-NGS DNA Library Kit does not require intact double-stranded DNA, making it ideal for FFPE and damaged samples.

The Accel-NGS DNA Library Kit protocol is fast, requiring only 75 minutes start-to-finish, and consists of 5 easy steps, two of which are bead-based separations that eliminate the need for time-consuming, electrophoretic gel-based size selection. In addition, the streamlined workflow can be readily automated.

Accel-NGS products for RUO applications are available directly from Swift. Additional NGS sample preparation products will be launched in the near future.

NGS users can produce PCR-free libraries with as little as 5 ng of input DNA with the Accel-NGS DNA Library Kit

Advancing Molecular Diagnostics

Swift has developed myT® Primers, a line of novel qPCR reagents that provide both high sensitivity and specificity in mutation detection, that are ideal for cancer research and diagnostic applications. myT Primers work well on both FFPE and fresh frozen specimens, but are also capable of sensitive detection when the sample material is limiting or where the target is present at very low concentration, such as with circulating tumor cells (CTCs), serum, plasma and needle biopsies.

Swift has developed myT Primers for the common mutations in BRAF and KRAS genes to demonstrate the superior performance capabilities of the technology for mutation detection. However, the technology is readily applicable to other mutations and infectious disease testing. In 2012, Swift launched two Research Use Only (RUO) myT Primer sets for BRAF V600E/K detection. One version of the product provides 1% sensitivity with no wild-type amplification, thereby providing a definitive Yes/No answer. A second, ultrasensitive version provides 0.01% sensitivity with very low wild-type amplification.

myT Primer products for RUO applications are available directly from Swift. Additional myT Primer reagents will be launched in 2013.

The selectivity of myT Primers results in a 1% assay that gives a definitive Yes/No answer

Partnering Opportunities

The technologies under development at Swift are applicable to many fields and disciplines. Our initial products have been designed to demonstrate the capabilities of myT Primers and Accel-NGS and to benchmark their performance against other products on the market. While our products are available directly from Swift, we are also working with multiple partners to incorporate our technologies into their products.

In December of 2012, Swift announced a technology license agreement with the Singapore-based parent of Vela Diagnostics. The agreement gives Vela non-exclusive rights to utilize myT Primer technology in Vela’s real-time qPCR-based IVD products for the detection of somatic mutations in human cancer. Vela will seek regulatory approval around the world for its assay kits while Swift will continue to develop myT Primers for RUO applications as well as license to other partners.

Additional partnering and licensing opportunities are available.

Swift Biosciences

58 Parkland Plaza, Suite 100, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Phone: 734.330.2568

Website: www.swiftbiosci.com

Date Founded: 2010

Previous articleDainippon Sumitomo Invests $16M in RIKEN Company
Next articleArQule Regains Rights to AKT Inhibitor from Daiichi Sankyo