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SomaGenics awarded NIH funding to develop NGS Single-Cell analysis of small RNAs

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(Contributed)

October 10, 2017 — Santa Cruz, CA

SomaGenics announced the receipt of a Phase I SBIR grant from NIH to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected to be the first commercially available library preparation kit for profiling small RNAs (including microRNAs) from single cells using NGS methods. NIH’s recent Single Cell Analysis Program highlights the need to accelerate development of approaches to analyze the heterogeneity of cell populations.

“New techniques for measuring levels of mRNAs in individual cells have led to breakthroughs in understanding cell fate and the cell-to-cell variability within tissues and tumors,” commented Sergio Barberan-Soler, Ph.D., Principal Investigator on this grant. “However, analogous tools for profiling small RNA levels in individual cells are lacking, although microRNAs are known to play important roles in regulating gene expression.” Single-cell sequencing of small RNA has been hindered by the technical problems of working with tiny amounts of RNA as well as severe bias in sequencing library construction. According to Dr. Barberan-Soler, “RealSeq®-SC will address these limitations, allowing investigators to accurately profile the small RNA transcriptome at the single-cell level.”

RealSeq®-SC is the latest in SomaGenics’ line of NGS library construction technologies. The original platform technology, RealSeq®-AC, allows construction of unbiased libraries for next-generation sequencing of small RNAs (such as microRNAs) and short fragments of large RNAs. Both RealSeq®-AC and RealSeq®-SC perform all steps from cell lysis to final purification of amplified libraries in a single tube. The technology is amenable to automation on microfluidic platforms that are frequently used in single cell work.

SomaGenics is a privately held biotech company specializing in developing innovative technologies that focus on RNA molecules as therapeutic agents and targets as well as biomarkers. The Company’s RNA analysis platforms include miR-ID®, a novel circularization-based RT-qPCR method, miR-Direct® for microRNA analysis directly from biofluids, and the RealSeq® family of technologies for non-biased small RNA library construction for next generation sequencing.

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