The offering combines a dedicated sample collection service based at Source’s lab in Berlin’s Buch biotechnology park with the firm’s speedRead automated data checking system, which eliminates ‘by-eye’ QA assessment and means results can be sent customers faster.
CEO Nick Ash told Outsourcing-Pharma.com that: “DNA samples from clinical trials can be sequenced and data delivered back to the customer, within as little as 3 hours. Typically, where there are large number of samples, these will be processed overnight and data delivered back to the customer within 12 hours.”
He explained that the rapid sequencing service is already available at Source’s laboratories in the Oxford, Cambridge and London in the UK and Dublin, Ireland to researchers working in a range of industries.
“Currently, the majority of our ‘conventional’ capillary electrophoresis sequencing is for the academic research community. However, a significant – and increasing – element is for biotech and pharma customers.
“Dependent on the nature of the clinical trial biomarker of interest, patient stratification may be undertaken using either or both techniques.
“We work with a small number of global pharmaceutical companies based in the UK and Germany and have a number of projects underway with them. To respect the agreements I have in place with them, I’d rather not name the individual companies.”
Singer Capital Markets analyst Shawn Manning suggested that Source’s new offering will benefit both the firm’s growth ambitions and customer timelines.
“The service represents the world’s fastest commercial DNA sequencing service. Importantly it has the potential to significantly reduce downtime in projects, potentially accelerating customer’s research programmes.
“The introduction…is in-line with the company’s efforts to grow its order books for both its UK and German businesses“ Manning added.
Demand for DNA sequencing services in clinical trials has increased in the last few years as drug developers seek more effective ways of identifying patients in whom candidate drugs will be most effective.
This has been compounded in recent years by the pharmaceutical sector's focus on developing products for niche patient populations and its efforts to develop personalised medicines and companion diagnostics.
This in turn has prompted numerous providers - Quintiles, LabCorp, Altogen and Aptiv to give a few of the most recent examples - to expand their capabilities in DNA sequencing through acquisitions or the formation of partnerships with specialists.