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IDIBAPS Researchers Discover Genetic Drivers of Clonal Evolution in Leukemia Using Single-Cell DNA Sequencing from Mission Bio

Tapestri® Platform powers Nature Medicine publication that identified rare subclones associated with aggressive cancer progression


SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, August 11, 2022 – Mission Bio, the pioneer in high-throughput single-cell DNA and multi-omics analysis, announced new findings from the lab of Elías Campo, Director of the August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS) in Barcelona, Spain, which used single-cell DNA sequencing to identify genetic drivers of Richter’s syndrome, the unpredictable and often deadly progression from chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) to an aggressive B cell lymphoma. The study, published today in the journal Nature Medicine, was the latest to demonstrate clinically relevant insights using Mission Bio’s Tapestri® Platform, highlighting rare Richter’s Syndrome subclones that lie dormant for years and could be targeted therapeutically to prevent disease progression by uncovering mutations at the individual cell level.


There are about 20,000 patients diagnosed with CLL in the U.S. each year. Though CLL is often treatable, Richter’s syndrome can develop after treatment with targeted therapies, affecting up to 10% of patients and transforming the cancer into the more aggressive diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), which has a median survival of one year or less.


In the new publication, the IDIBAPS-led team performed genomic, epigenomic, and transcriptomic characterization of CLL patients before and after treatment in an effort to understand drivers of Richter’s syndrome. By using Mission Bio’s highly sensitive Tapestri® CLL panel, the researchers were able to resolve clonal heterogeneity and trace the cancer’s evolutionary history, detecting rare pre-existing mutations associated with disease progression in samples from four patients. The results suggest that treatment was driving selection for subclones – an analysis that was not possible with traditional bulk sequencing methods that are incapable of detecting mutations that co-occur in the same cells.


The genomic drivers were identified in an extremely small number of subclones – about five cells – and detected years before final expansion. The findings could enable researchers to develop strategies targeting these dormant subclones to prevent CLL patients from developing Richter’s syndrome.


“Single-cell DNA sequencing, powered by Tapestri®, allowed us to resolve the co-mutational relationships within cells and unambiguously detect rare subclones at early stages of evolution that bulk sequencing missed,” said Ferran Nadeu, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at IDIBAPS and the publication’s primary author.


“This is the latest example of how the Tapestri® Platform empowers scientists to find drivers of cancer progression early in the course of disease, which could enable the development of predictive biomarkers and earlier therapeutic interventions,” said Todd Druley, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer of Mission Bio. “This research makes a strong argument that single-cell DNA sequencing is a necessary tool to uncover mechanistic insight into cancer biology, enabling the development of diagnostics and therapeutics to fight these diseases.”


To learn more about Mission Bio and the Tapestri®  Platform, please visit


About Mission Bio

Mission Bio is a life sciences company that accelerates discoveries and cures for a wide range of diseases by equipping researchers with the tools they need to better measure and predict our resistance and response to new therapies. Mission Bio’s multi-omics approach improves time-to-market for new therapeutics, including innovative cell and gene therapies that provide new pathways to health. Founded in 2014, Mission Bio has secured investment from Novo Growth, Cota Capital, Agilent Technologies, Mayfield Fund, and others.


The company’s Tapestri®  Platform gives researchers around the globe the power to interrogate every molecule in a cell together, providing a comprehensive understanding of activity from a single sample. Tapestri® is the only commercialized multi-omics platform capable of analyzing DNA and protein simultaneously from the same sample at single-cell resolution.  The Tapestri® Platform is being utilized by customers at leading research centers, pharmaceutical, and diagnostics companies worldwide to develop treatments and eventually cures for cancer.


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