Beckman launches latest GenomeLab system

Related tags Beckman coulter Gene expression Molecular biology Dna

Beckman Coulter has launched a gene analysis system that aims to
deliver high-throughput, cost effective gene expression via
scalable, multiplexed PCR and overcome the biases that limit
standard PCR analyses to just a few genes at a time, reports Wai
Lang Chu.

The system delivers quantitative results for upto thousands of samples using small amounts of total RNA. The GenomeLab GeXP Genetic Analysis System uses a patented priming strategy that delivers more genes per reaction and more samples per run, removing bottlenecks in gene expression studies for drug discovery and development research.

Beckman Coulter's offering is the latest product to come from its GenomeLab stable that comprise genetic analysis tools that aim to simplify and automate genomic processes to enable identification of new markers of biological, diagnostic and therapeutic interest.

The GeXP uses a two-primer process with gene-specific universal primers that overcome biases from primer-primer reactions, primer-product cross-reactions and from variations in amplification efficiency. This priming strategy, combined with single endpoint fluorescence detection, enables higher levels of quantitation and multiplexing. This makes it ideal for applications working with smaller gene sets that can provide key information relating to biological state or response.

The system can run two 96-well plates in 24 hours, and cost-effectively look at the expression of 20 to 35 genes in a single reaction per well. Beckman Coulter claims that the set up of this system allows GenomeLab GeXP to operate at a fraction of the cost of a standard RT-PCR system.

"This new system meets a critical need in the marketplace today for an alternative to realtime PCR, which is expensive and has very low throughput,"​ said Noreen Galvin, GenomeLab business manager for Beckman Coulter.

"Our multiplexed system can profile as many as 30 genes in a single well for significant time and money savings,"​ she added.

A new line of consumables for the GenomeLab GeXP includes reagents for discovery, master mix reagents for user-defined genes and multiplex kits for performing quantitative gene expression studies on human, mouse or rat genes. Existing CEQ 8000 and 8800 Genetic Analysis Systems can be upgraded to the new GeXP system capabilities.

The system also includes a series of software tools for automated primer design and multiplex assembly, reaction plate setup, data collection, data checking and first-pass analysis. GenomeLab GeXP also provides important genetic analysis functions including sequencing, heterozygote detection, SNP detection, STR, visualisation, AFLP and LOH.

Various figures have been suggested to the size of the PCR market. Conservative estimates place the industry at $4.5 billion (€3.4 billion). The figure took into account the amount spent worldwide in 2003 on industrial and academic research to understand human gene function.

According to data from Frost & Sullivan, the rising popularity of microarrays in the US and European life science market acts as a complementary driver for real-time thermal cyclers, for example in the validation of microarray results using real-time PCR.

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