RainDance Expands ThunderBolts Portfolio with Launch of Low-Cost, Low-Input Next-Gen Sequencing Enrichment System for Liquid Biopsy

ThunderBolts™ System ensures accurate and precise detection of somatic mutations as low as 1% in circulating cell-free DNA

BILLERICA, Mass.--()--RainDance Technologies, Inc., a genomics tools company dedicated to simplifying the analysis of complex genetic diseases, today announced the launch and availability of the ThunderBolts™ Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Target Enrichment System. The ThunderBolts System enables researchers to rapidly detect and cost-effectively analyze somatic mutations from liquid biopsy samples (circulating tumor DNA) or precious FFPE (formalin-fixed Paraffin-Embedded) tissue samples. RainDance recently showcased the new ThunderBolts System and performance data at the International Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference, and will highlight the ThunderBolts System at the upcoming Advances in Genome Biology and Technology Meeting.

Lightning in a Droplet Advantages
The ThunderBolts System is a fast, accurate and low-cost NGS target enrichment system that features award-winning instrumentation and pre-validated gene panels for profiling solid tumors and hematological cancers, as well as flexible ‘open source’ options for the generation of custom gene panels. The ThunderBolts System features the streamlined RainDance DirectSeq™ primer design and amplification method, which eliminates library preparation steps, minimizes off-target sequencing, and triples the sample capacity per sequencing run, resulting in significant throughput, batching, turnaround time, and cost advantages.

The ThunderBolts System provides researchers the ability to confidently detect somatic or hematologic tumor mutations with frequencies as low as one percent, starting with as little as 10 ng of amplifiable DNA. , Scientists can use the ThunderBolts System to research and screen for low-frequency mutations and then orthogonally validate and track these mutations with the ultra-sensitive RainDrop® Digital PCR System, as they utilize the same core droplet technology platform. In addition, all current RainDrop systems are enabled to run ThunderBolts NGS panels to further extend their versatility and value. The RainDrop and ThunderBolts Systems are research-use-only tools.

“The RainDance ThunderBolts System enables us to apply NGS technology more routinely to limited amounts of circulating tumor DNA,” said Andrew Brooks, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer, Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository (RUCDR). “Together with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, we are now using the ThunderBolts System to analyze every tumor sample in our database. These types of projects have the potential to open the door to many new types of research applications and ultimately, transform the way we detect, measure and monitor different types of cancer.”

“We are using the ThunderBolts System together with the RainDrop Digital PCR System to perform genetic analysis of pancreatic cysts.” said Andrew Rhim, M.D., Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Assistant Director for Translational Research, University of Michigan Medical School. “This combination has enabled us to research mutations in pre-cancerous cyst fluid that may correlate with risk of subsequent cancer development. These data combined with subsequent quantitative mutation validation has enabled us to gain key insight in pancreatic cancer progression, all with a streamlined workflow on the same platform.”

Complete NGS Target Enrichment System with True Single Molecule Amplification
The ThunderBolts System utilizes RainDance’s proprietary RainStorm™ single-molecule PCR technology to generate 8 million PCR droplet reactions per well. Each droplet is consistent in size and contains either a zero or one target molecule. This true digital approach ensures high coverage, high on-target specificity, and high uniformity, and therefore, enhances performance for next-generation sequencing systems. The complete ThunderBolts System includes the following components:

  • Award-winning Instrumentation: Runs on the compact, deployable RainDrop Source instrument, a component of the RainDrop Digital PCR System, which was recently recognized by The Scientist as a Top 10 Innovation for 2014. The ThunderBolts System is available now for $50,000.
  • Pre-validated Gene Content Panels: Leverage the following gene content panels developed in collaboration with a consortium of industry experts
    • ThunderBolts Cancer Panel: Interrogates mutations/hotspots in 50 oncogenes, tumor suppressors and drug resistance markers. Available now for research use.
    • ThunderBolts Myeloid Panel: Profiles mutations in 49 myeloid genes for research related to AML, MDS, MPN and other myeloma diseases. Available in Spring 2015.
  • Open Source Options: Create custom gene content panels for highly sensitive detection and low sample input using the new ThunderBolts Open Source (OS) Pack. Customers interested in the ThunderBolts OS options should contact RainDance at sales@raindancetech.com.

RainDance also plans to launch a ThunderBolts RNA-Seq capability for the detection of structural variations such as fusions, insertions/deletions, translocations, and rearrangements.

“RainDance continues to be at the forefront of liquid biopsy research,” said Roopom Banerjee, President and CEO of RainDance Technologies. “The combination of the ThunderBolts and RainDrop Systems is fundamentally improving the way researchers detect, validate and monitor low-frequency mutations from limited amounts of circulating DNA.”

Upcoming Product Showcases and Data Presentations
RainDance recently showcased its complete line of research-use products for liquid biopsy applications at the International Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference in San Francisco and will do so at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology Meeting in Lanai Suite 182 at the Marco Island Marriott in Marco Island, Fla. on Feb 25-28. Hear from prominent cancer and NGS researchers about how the ThunderBolts NGS Content Enrichment System and RainDrop Digital PCR System are fundamentally improving the way research scientists detect, validate and monitor low-frequency mutations from limited amounts of circulating DNA. For more information on the company’s activities at these shows, please visit: http://raindancetech.com/events/industry-events.

About RainDance Technologies
RainDance Technologies is making complex genetics simple. The company’s ultra-sensitive genomic tools enable research of novel non-invasive liquid biopsy applications that should result in more accurate, reliable, cost-effective, and early detection of cancer and other inherited and infectious diseases. Major research institutions and laboratories around the world rely on the performance of RainDance systems. Based outside Boston, Massachusetts, the company supports customers using RainDrop® Digital PCR and ThunderStorm® Next-Generation Sequencing Content Enrichment Systems through its international sales and service operations, as well as a global network of distributors and commercial service providers. Both technology platforms have been recognized by The Scientist as Top 10 Innovations with the RainDrop System winning the award in 2014 and ThunderStorm System in 2011. For more information, please visit www.RainDanceTech.com.

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The ThunderBolts NGS Target Enrichment System, ThunderBolts Cancer Panel, ThunderBolts Myeloid Panel, and RainDrop Digital PCR System are for Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

RainDance Technologies, the RainDance Technologies logo, ThunderBolts, RainDrop, DirectSeq, and RainStorm are trademarks of RainDance Technologies, Inc. All other brands may be trademarks of their respective holders.

Contacts

Media:
For RainDance Technologies:
Pamela Mahoney, 408-674-6997
BlueChair Group
pamela@bluechairgroup.com

Release Summary

RainDance Technologies' ThunderBolts™ System ensures accurate and precise detection of somatic mutations as low as 1% in circulating cell-free DNA

Contacts

Media:
For RainDance Technologies:
Pamela Mahoney, 408-674-6997
BlueChair Group
pamela@bluechairgroup.com