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September 20, 2018 by Charlie Silver 3 min read

A New Milestone in Single-cell DNA Analysis

Charlie Silver, Mission Bio CEO

Today marks a special day for us, as we unveil a major landmark for our company in what we think is another industry milestone toward truly understanding cancer.

Our team’s mission is to help our customers unlock single-cell biology to enable the discovery, development, and delivery of better precision medicines. We serve researchers, clinicians, and drug developers who are making the world healthier and we are honored to support their work to better the lives of patients in need.

This month, Genome Research published a peer-reviewed study validating the technology that powers our Tapestri Platform. The study marks the first-ever application of a commercial high throughput single-cell DNA sequencing technology to patient samples. Together, MD Anderson Cancer Center and Mission Bio deployed Tapestri to resolve tumor heterogeneity at the single-cell DNA level, at the speed and scale needed for routine use.

From Two Years To Two Days

For years, single-cell DNA analysis was a laborious and expensive endeavor. Pioneers like Jerry Radich of Fred Hutch and Nick Navin of MD Anderson spent years sequencing thousands of single cells, demonstrating the importance of single-cell analysis for understanding the origins and drivers of disease. While they showed that resolution at the single-cell DNA level was crucial to understanding disease progression, the tools that yielded these insights were inaccessible to all but the few with the time, expertise, and funding required to develop homebrew single-cell analysis tools.

With these prior technologies, the time to sequence the DNA of thousands of single cells took two years. With Tapestri, that time is pared down to a mere two days.

Genome Research describes our scalable single-cell DNA analysis technology as applied to clinical samples. This unique capability equips the community with unprecedented insight into cancer biology, and the power to translate those insights into routine clinical use.

Precision and Speed

DNA is the blueprint of life, but the cell that harbors DNA is the basic unit of disease. When it comes to complex diseases like cancer, mutations in many different individual cells result in the progression of the disease. Precise measurements are required to identify the differences among those cells that drive disease, while speed is essential to measuring the DNA of every disease-causing cell in time to make impactful decisions regarding therapies.

No cancer patient or doctor wants to miss the rare diseased cells or the subtle cell-to-cell variation that drives clinical outcomes — any oversight can be a matter of life or death. Now that single-cell DNA sequencing of cancer samples takes just two days – at a cost that can support large patient studies and reimbursement – this level of insight and precision can be routine.

The Time Has Come

The time has come for precision in DNA sequencing. Now is the time for the routine use of single-cell DNA analysis to help resolve some of the biggest questions in cancer and genome editing research. With the launch of the Tapestri Platform, we now enable our customers to routinely provide insights into cell populations that were previously unobservable with conventional sequencing methodologies, opening the door to future clinical applications.

Our deepest thanks to Dr. Koichi Takahashi and his team for working closely with us to bring this study to fruition and to our team at Mission Bio for reaching this milestone as a company.

Today, we are actively looking to build relationships with clinical researchers, medical service providers, cancer and genomics centers, oncology and CRISPR labs, and biopharmaceutical providers.

We look forward to what’s ahead for Mission Bio and invite you to join us in our quest to move precision medicine forward.

Please read the Genome Research publication here.

About the Author

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