News Release

OpGen Announces Argus® Optical Mapping System Purchase by BGI

02.08.11

Media Contact:
Dan Budwick
Pure Communications, Inc.
(973) 271-6085

Gaithersburg, Md.—February 8, 2011—OpGen, Inc., a genomics and DNA analysis company and exclusive provider of optical mapping technology, today announced that BGI, the largest genomics organization in the world, purchased an Argus Optical Mapping System. BGI plans on incorporating the Argus system into its current sequencing platform for microbial genome sequence finishing and sequence validation.

“We are very encouraged by the success of our large genome collaboration and are incorporating the Argus Optical Mapping System into our current workflow for our microbial genome sequence assembly work. We believe that optical mapping will reduce the time and cost to produce complete, validated sequenced microbial genomes. We look forward to continuing this important collaboration with OpGen,” said Xu Xun, vice president of research & development at BGI.

Advances in DNA sequencing continue to drive down the cost and increase the amount of sequence data available. However, these advances still leave much of the genome uncharacterized and unordered. Genome centers that have dramatically increased their sequencing throughput are now finding the sequence finishing process to be the bottleneck in whole genome sequencing.

By utilizing the OpGen Optical Mapping System for the assembly of whole genome scaffolds, researchers are now able to readily identify gaps in the sequence and target specific areas of the genome for additional sequencing. This greatly reduces the need for the labor intensive, time consuming and costly process of cloning, PCR and re-sequencing reactions involved with traditional finishing techniques. In addition, optical mapping provides a sequence independent method for whole genome sequence assembly validation. Sequencing projects can now be completed in weeks instead of months, greatly increasing the throughput while driving down the cost of whole genome sequencing.

“We believe that our optical mapping system and software tools are a perfect complement to next generation sequencing for assembly and finishing. We look forward to working closely with BGI as we continue to advance the development of the optical mapping technology for use in human, plant and animal genomes,” commented Doug White, CEO, OpGen, Inc.

About OpGen, Inc.
OpGen, Inc. is a leading innovator and developer of genomic solutions for the analysis of genetic variation and biological function. The company has developed a platform for its proprietary Optical Mapping Technology. The Argus Optical Mapping System and MapIt™ Services provide high resolution, whole genome restriction maps for strain typing, comparative genomics and sequence assembly of microbial genomes to the life sciences market. This de novo technology is free from the limitations of gel, PCR and sequencing-based methodologies. Applications to expand Optical Mapping technology to large genomes and clinical diagnostics are currently in development. OpGen’s customers include leading genomic research centers, biodefense organizations, academic institutions, clinical research organizations and biotechnology companies. For more information, visit www.opgen.com.

About BGI
Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) was founded in Beijing on Sept 9th, 1999 with the mission of supporting the development of science and technology, building strong research teams, and promoting the development of commercial scientific services. BGI has successfully completed a large number of projects. These include sequencing 1% of the human genome for the International Human Genome Project, contributing 10% to the International Human HapMap Project, carrying out research to combat SARS, being a key player in the Sino-British Chicken Genome Project, and completely sequencing the rice genome, the silkworm genome. In 2007, the headquarters relocated to Shenzhen. BGI-Shenzhen has completed the first Asian diploid genome, the Giant Panda genome and the cucumber genome project. Much of those researches have been published in the top international academic journals including Nature and Science. In conjunction with carrying out these projects, BGI-Shenzhen has established its own technical platforms based on large-scale genome sequencing, efficient bioinformatics analyses, and innovative genetic health care initiatives. These distinguished achievements have made a great contribution to the development of genomics in both China and the world.