WaferGen Biosystems, a developer of genetic analysis systems, has reported that the University of Texas, Health Science Center at Houston, is the 10th early-access customer of the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System.

The SmartChip System is designed to advance genome research results through the improved discovery and validation of biomarkers enabled by its high-throughput capability.

WaferGen said that it currently offers its new fee-based service for gene-expression profiling, while continuing to actively develop its SmartChip Real-Time PCR System that is designed as the first whole genome, high-throughput gene expression real-time PCR platform for the gene expression and genotyping markets.

The initial product on the SmartChip platform is the SmartChip Human Oncology Gene Panel that provides pathway based gene expression profiling for Oncology. In addition, the SmartChip Human microRNA Panel provides a comprehensive panel of over 800 microRNAs on a single SmartChip to enable discovery of disease specific microRNAs.

Combined with next-generation chemistry and optimized assays being developed by WaferGen under the guidance of David Gelfand, chief scientific officer and one of the pioneers of PCR, the system promises to deliver speed and cost advantages to researchers in the gene expression and genotyping markets.

Based on collaborations established with research institutions, WaferGen believes that the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System is positioned as the platform of choice for biomarker discovery and validation. The system will provide a number of key ease-of-use features including content-ready chips with gene panels optimized for microRNA, cancer, and whole genome.

WaferGen claimed that the SmartChip Real-Time PCR System will be the first platform to combine the high-throughput capability and cost efficiencies of existing microarrays, with the sensitivity and accuracy of real-time PCR.

Alnoor Shivji, chairman and CEO of WaferGen, said: “The addition of the University of Texas as one of the prestigious organizations choosing the SmartChip System reinforces its potential as a tool to improve gene expression analysis and genotyping in order to provide a better understanding of disease at the molecular level. While anticipating the commercialization of SmartChip later this year, we are simultaneously implementing our strategy to generate revenue through our early-access program.”