SomaGenics awarded NIH Phase II funding for Targeted NGS of cell-free small RNAs

Santa Cruz, CA, February 2018 - SomaGenics announced the receipt of a 3 year Phase II SBIR grant to develop RealSeq®-T, an extraction-free, targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) platform to analyze cell free (cf) small RNAs, including microRNAs, directly from biofluids.

“Conventional NGS library construction methods are known to have serious problems with library bias, and sequencing reads from libraries prepared from biofluids such as serum or plasma are often dominated by a few highly-abundant small RNAs,” said Sergio Barberan-Soler, Ph.D., Senior Scientist at SomaGenics and Principal Investigator on this grant. “RealSeq®-T solves both of these problems and substantially advances the performance of NGS as a high throughput analytical platform for cf-miRNA liquid biopsy applications.”

 SomaGenics’ RealSeq®-T eliminates total RNA extraction, a source of inefficient and variable recovery. It also eliminates 5’ sequencing adapter ligation, which is known to be highly biased, resulting in dramatically improved sensitivity, accuracy and dynamic range over other NGS methods for cf-miRNA analysis. RealSeq®-T provides a nearly 3-fold reduction in sequencing bias over the leading commercially available small RNA sequencing library technologies.

In addition, RealSeq®-T’s targeted approach significantly reduces the required sequencing coverage for many applications by focusing reads on a user-defined set of cf-miRNAs (up to hundreds). By eliminating unwanted reads, RealSeq®-T allows accurate detection in biofluids at extremely low concentrations while decreasing the cost per assay. RealSeq®-T is fully customizable, supporting a broad array of applications including custom diagnostic panels or liquid biopsy assays utilizing disease-specific cf-miRNA signatures.

RealSeq®-T is the latest in SomaGenics’ line of NGS library construction technologies.   The original platform technology, RealSeq®-AC, allows construction of unbiased libraries for next-generation sequencing of small RNAs and short fragments of large RNAs.