Horizon Discovery Partners with Swift Biosciences on Genomic Reference Standards for NGS Oncology Applications

27 Oct 2015 | Press release

  • Swift Biosciences’ new oncology panel, including HDx™ Quantitative Multiplex Reference Standards, addresses growing liquid biopsy and cancer detection markets
  • Standards to be used to support validation, consistency and accuracy of the panel

Cambridge, UK 27 October 2015: Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE:HZD) (Horizon), the international life science company supplying research tools and services to organizations engaged in genomics research and the development of personalized medicines, today announced it has entered into a new agreement with Swift Biosciences (Swift). Swift will be incorporating Horizon’s human genomic reference standards into its new Accel-Amplicon 56G Oncology Panel for use in research and translational applications.

The Accel-Amplicon 56G Oncology Panel is a single tube assay that offers comprehensive and hotspot coverage of 56 clinically-relevant oncology-related genes, using a 263-amplicon design to generate multiplex libraries compatible with commonly used NGS platforms. The panel has been designed for compatibility with the short DNA fragments from both formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) and circulating, cell-free DNA (cfDNA) samples.

Swift will include Horizon’s HDx Quantitative Multiplex Reference Standard material as a positive control in its trial-size oncology panel, allowing users to validate the panel for use for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) applications in their lab. HDx Reference Standards offer a source of genetically defined, quantitative, sustainable and independent third party reference material, and are the first commercially available standards of their kind.

Dr. Hong Yin, Louisiana State University, stated: “The Accel-Amplicon 56G panel combined with the Horizon reference standards offer a very powerful tool for detecting clinically important mutations, which is particularly important when sequencing samples that are very limited in availability.”

Paul Morrill, President of Products at Horizon Discovery Group commented: “Our ability to engineer cell lines with almost any genetic alteration required is increasingly attracting the attention of the diagnostics community. This agreement is further recognition of the importance of providing controls alongside a targeted sequencing assay, and we are very pleased to partner with Swift to help ensure the accuracy of their new assay.”

Timothy Harkins, CEO at Swift Biosciences, said: “At Swift we are committed to developing novel enabling technologies for challenging next generation sequencing applications. We are opening possibilities for the community to sequence and characterise heavily damaged and very limited samples. The addition of Horizon’s reference materials to the Accel-Amplicon Panel offers an invaluable method for our customers to validate their NGS findings.”

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.