Biosearch Technologies acquired a majority stake in LightSpeed Genomics (LSG). The deal brings together Biosearch’s expertise in supplying oligo components to the molecular diagnostics business with LSG’s optical detection techniques, including the Synthetic Aperture Optics™ (SAO™) technology.

Biosearch and LSG have been collaborating on the development of StellarVision™, a next-generation gene expression platform optimized to work with Biosearch’s Stellaris® RNA FISH assays to detect and quantify single-molecule RNA targets within individual cells.

“The synergy of Stellaris assays with StellarVision provides a paradigm shift in gene expression analysis,” says Marc Beal, director of corporate development and licensing at Biosearch. “Current gene expression systems destroy cellular integrity then rescue messenger RNA with multiple amplification steps to provide an indirect ‘average’ of expression. In contrast, StellarVision directly interrogates single cells, single molecules, and quantifies mRNA, lncRNA, and viral RNA while imaging hundreds of cells with statistical significance in a single large field of view.”

SAO technology is a novel optical detection paradigm that enables massively parallelized optical detection, according to LSG officials. The technique combines coherent interferometric illumination (similar to synthetic aperture radar) and computational image reconstruction (similar to computed tomography) to achieve ultra-high resolution that is far beyond the native resolution of the lens and the camera.

The SAO-based StellarVision gene expression analysis instrument can analyze hundreds of cells simultaneously within a single field of view using a 20x air lens, but with resolution comparable to 100x oil immersion lens or higher, added a LSG spokesperson.

Earlier this year, Biosearch relocated its GMP manufacturing process into a new GMP 30,000 sq. ft. production facility in Novato, CA, which was developed to further expand processes and controls relevant to medical device and molecular diagnostic customers. It was “designed to incorporate the environmental and access controls, linear production flow, and clean room processes critical for the controlled manufacture of highly qualified diagnostic components, reagents, and kits,” said Ron Cook, president and CEO of Biosearch.

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