It has been tremendously exciting to collaborate with the Omixon team over the last two years and to see the benefits of this technology spread further across the HLA community.
Budapest, Hungary and Cambridge, MA (PRWEB) February 25, 2016
Global molecular diagnostics company Omixon, headquartered in Budapest with US offices in Cambridge, MA, announced today that Dr. Dimitri Monos, Director of the Immunogenetics Laboratory of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, will join their team as Chair of the company’s Scientific Advisory Board. Professor Monos was the principal inventor of the Holotype protocol, which was licensed to Omixon in June 2014, combined with Omixon’s dual algorithm genotyping software, HLA Twin™ and sold globally as Holotype HLA™ - Omixon’s flagship product for HLA genotyping by NGS on the Illumina MiSeq.
Holotype HLA offers a whole gene NGS-based approach to HLA genotyping, has been in routine clinical practice since December 2013 with over 2000 samples analyzed. A 6-participant double-blind Alpha Study has also been conducted by Professor Monos to determine the reproducibility (99.7%) of this technology in other labs with 99.8% accuracy and 0.2% ambiguity. The higher resolution genotyping results pave the way for improving transplantation outcomes through a more refined assessment of donor compatibility, and will expedite the donor selection process from bone marrow registries. It also provides an advanced tool for research in immunological diseases, infectious diseases, and pharmacogenomics.
Professor Monos says, “it has been tremendously exciting to collaborate with the Omixon team over the last two years and to see the benefits of this technology spread further across the HLA community.” In the 20 months since licensing the technology, Omixon has developed global distribution channels to all major markets, completed a worldwide Early Access Program with participants in 13 countries and made product advancements to increase the number of loci covered since launch from five to eleven, among a host of other improvements.
Professor Monos will join the team at Omixon in this new role with the company to provide the necessary scientific leadership in HLA and beyond. Omixon’s CEO Tim Hague says, “Professor Monos has already pioneered the development of a best in class assay, and with his scientific input to the product development process, Omixon will be able to grow a portfolio of products to address the genotyping needs of all HLA labs”.
“A single technology for both bone marrow and solid organ transplant programs, that is more informative with virtually no ambiguities, which is simultaneously easy to introduce and cost effective - this is a very attractive proposition for Immunogenetics labs”, says Tim Hague. NGS has already caught the eye of a number of labs that support solid organ transplantations in addition to the bone marrow workflows. “Extending the number of loci from 5 to 11, reducing turnaround time and having a simple automated protocol are all critical to labs interested in HLA typing for solid organs”. Importantly, “these additions to Omixon’s products are just the start with more announcements to be made later this year for multiple product lines,” says Mr. Hague.
Professor Monos notes that characterizing the HLA genes could be important for expanding the horizon of the biological role of HLA from transplantation further into pharmacogenomics, disease associations and as a companion diagnostic. “This new technology is a cause of expansion not contraction. Labs will rapidly see an opportunity for new advancements in science and as well as clinical practice. It has already been documented that mutations in the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains influence T cell responses, while intronic sequences of the HLA genes harbor miRNA Sequences important in both T and B cell signaling; this in my opinion suggests that our community should thoroughly and systematically characterize the HLA sequences at every opportunity.”
Omixon is a global molecular diagnostics company, headquartered in Budapest, Hungary, that commercializes disruptive innovations specializing in targeted applications for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Data. The Omixon Holotype HLA™ product combines a targeted HLA Assay and the Omixon HLA Twin™ software to deliver the most accurate high-resolution HLA genotyping available. In addition to analyzing targeted data from any NGS instrument, Omixon Target HLA can be used to analyze the HLA region from Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) and Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) data. Omixon maintains an active grant-funded research program and assists scientists and clinicians to analyze the most challenging genomic regions including HLA, KIR, ABO, BRCA and CFTR. For more information, visit http://www.omixon.com