A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

Single-molecule DNA analysis equipment manufacturer OpGen (Madison, Wisconsin) reported that it has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with M&S Instruments, a leading Japanese importer of pharmaceutical biotechnology and information technology tools and solutions.

OpGen said the distribution partnership would provide life sciences researchers in Japan with access to its Optical Mapping whole genome analysis system. Optical Mapping can be used to obtain detailed genetic information from any organism, with no requirement for prior sequence information, polymerase chain reaction, cloning or probes.

The system, which is available from OpGen on a fee-for-service basis, has been used for comparative genomic analysis of a range of organisms, from microbes to man. Planned commercial applications include clinical microbial analysis, forensic microbiology and the development of molecular diagnostic products.

Joe Shaw, CEO of OpGen, said, "As one of the major distributors of biotechnology tools in Japan, M&S is a critical partner for OpGen and will help us make Optical Mapping available throughout this important market, in diverse fields including clinical microbiology, pharmacogenomics and diagnostics."

M&S Instruments President and CEO Senzo Tamiya said his company "already has experienced strong interest in the Optical Mapping technology from Japanese scientists."

The partnership was launched at a M&S-sponsored presentation by OpGen's chief scientific officer, Dr. Colin Dykes, at the Human Genome Organization's 10th International Genome Meeting in Kyoto recently.

At that meeting, Dr. Anthony Brookes, professor of genetics at the University of Leicester in the UK, who is conducting work focused on the identification of human DNA variation and how this impacts disease, said, "I am very excited about Optical Mapping. I can imagine many uses for the technology and believe it will be increasingly important as the field develops."