Based on its recent analysis of the personalized medicine market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes QuantaLife, Inc. with the 2011 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product Innovation for its Droplet Digital™ Polymerase Chain Reaction (ddPCR™) system, a next generation of PCR that provides an absolute quantification measurement of nucleic acid molecules in nanoliter droplet form.
Real-time PCR has long been the gold standard for sensitive DNA quantification. With even greater sensitivity and precision, the ddPCR™ system is market-changing and has far-reaching applications in research and diagnostics. By allowing for detection at lower target levels, the ddPCR™ system has the ability to identify diseases earlier in progression, providing a major advantage for diagnostics and preventative medicine. Therefore, QuantaLife is poised to play a significant role in the development of companion diagnostics central to the emergence of personalized medicine.
"Essentially, this new technology provides even more precise measurements than the gold-standard qPCR methods widely used for fifteen years," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Christi Bird. "The unmatched resolution allows detection of target molecules at extremely low levels, which has major implications for not only precise life science research applications, but also early diagnosis of disease and development of accurate companion diagnostics for personalized healthcare."
Launched in November 2010, QuantaLife's ddPCR™ system consists of two separate instruments, the droplet generator and the droplet reader, both compact and sleek in design. The smaller of the two instruments, the droplet generator, divides each sample into 20,000 one-nanoliter droplets. After depositing the droplets into a 96-well plate, researchers then transfer the plate to their own standard thermal cyclers to amplify the targeted DNA/RNA molecules. Returned to QuantaLife's droplet reader instrument, droplets are streamed single file past a two color fluorescence detector and read as either positive or negative for the target DNA/RNA molecules. The platform then uses statistics to determine the concentration of the selected target in the original sample, thus providing a digital absolute quantification.
The ddPCR™ system provides several advantages over traditional real-time PCR. In particular, the system can better detect the difference between samples with similar genomic structures, a major advantage in determining copy number variation. This precise technology can also identify a +/-10 percent difference in gene expression between samples. Additionally, the instrument can detect a rare difference against a similar and common background.
"This advantage allows extremely sensitive detection of rare mutations when real-time PCR fails at certain concentration due to competitive amplification of the common DNA," says Bird. "The excitement this technology is already generating is evident from the hefty $17.2 million series B financing round the company received in December 2010."
Overall, QuantaLife exhibits the qualities necessary for an entrepreneurial company to succeed – dedication to innovation, a next-generation platform that significantly exceeds earlier technologies, and a solid plan for future growth. The ddPCR™ system has the ability to significantly improve PCR resolution, impacting a plethora of applications requiring precise measurements. Frost & Sullivan expects even greater innovations from this new company over the next few years as it ramps up commercialization of the ddPCR™ system, builds awareness, and pursues new markets. In recognition of its commitment to technology innovation and improving life sciences research and diagnostics, QuantaLife is the worthy recipient of the 2011 Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product Innovation Award in personalized medicine.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that that has developed an innovative element in a product by leverage leading edge technologies. The award recognizes the value added features/benefits of the product and the increased ROI it offers customers, which in turn increases customer acquisition and overall market penetration potential.
Frost & Sullivan's Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About QuantaLife, Inc.
QuantaLife, a venture-backed startup company based in Pleasanton, CA recently developed Droplet Digital™ Polymerase Chain Reaction (ddPCR™) technology, a next generation of PCR that provides an absolute quantification measurement of single molecules in nanoliter droplet form. The company was founded in August of 2008. After launching the ddPCR™ system in November 2010, the firm closed $17.2 million in Series B financing in December to accelerate application development for its platform and establish commercial operations in 2011.
About Frost & Sullivan
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