Studies on COVID-19 Disease Susceptibility in China Using Bionano Genomics’ Saphyr Are Progressing and Generating High Quality Data
Samples collected from COVID-19 patients from initial outbreaks in China were analyzed successfully
SAN DIEGO, Aug. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bionano Genomics, Inc. (Nasdaq: BNGO) announced today that significant progress has been made in previously announced COVID-19 host genetics studies on
the initial COVID-19 outbreaks in Wuhan and Shanghai, and that researchers have successfully analyzed patient samples using Bionano Saphyr at the site of Wuhan-based service provider GrandOmics.
These studies aim to compare a variety of genomic and other biological variables between those patients who show no or mild symptoms and those who show severe illness, while controlling for viral
strain differences, and for the known risk factors of age and chronic illness such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, or other immune-compromising disease.
Both the Wuhan and Shanghai studies had suffered from setbacks due to institutional and governmental restrictions on the analysis of genomic DNA of the COVID-19 patients for these host genome studies, and additional restrictions on transporting patient samples for processing delayed progress in these studies. These hurdles have now been cleared, and the first four samples from COVID-19 patients from the Shanghai cohort have been successfully processed, generating exceptional DNA and data quality metrics. Samples from the Wuhan cohort have been identified as well and are awaiting processing.
Bionano Genomics expects that its Saphyr genome imaging technology can provide important structural variation data needed for a full understanding of genome structure in COVID-19 patients. As previously announced on July 24, 2020, initial unpublished findings from 30 COVID-19 patients that have been analyzed on Saphyr as part of the COVID-19 Host Genome Structural Variation Consortium show that Saphyr detects large amounts of structural variation in many putatively relevant genes, demonstrating that point mutations alone are unlikely to explain disease differences between patients.
Erik Holmlin, PhD, CEO of Bionano Genomics commented: “We believe that the work in these studies can prove to be essential for the development of new therapies, vaccines and diagnostics designed to improve patient management for those patients with COVID-19. While studies in Europe and in North America centered around the COVID-19 Host Genome Structural Variation Consortium are ongoing, we are pleased that the host genome studies of the initial outbreak in China are now progressing as well. We are proud of our team and our collaborators who have overcome significant barriers to make this progress.”