WaferGen Bio-systems Announces Research Collaboration with Leading Canadian Laboratory in Breast and Ovarian Cancer Screening

Goal of Enabling Affordable, Large-Scale BRCA1 and BRCA2 Screening for General Population

Research to be led by Dr. Steven Narod, Co-discoverer of BRCA1 and BRCA2 Genes

Feb 19, 2015, 12:19 ET from WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc.

FREMONT, Calif., Feb. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: WGBS) today announced that the Company has entered into a research collaboration with the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit of the Women's College Research Institute at the University of Toronto.  The Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit is a world leader in the field of breast and ovarian cancer genetics.  The collaboration will utilize WaferGen's Seq-ReadyTM TE System, with the goal of enabling affordable, large-scale BRCA1 and BRCA2 screening for the general population.

The research conducted around the collaboration will be led by Dr. Steven Narod, Director, Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit, Women's College Research Institute, and Professor at the Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, and Dr. Mohammad Akbari, Assistant Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto and Scientist at Women's College Research Institute.

"We believe that there is a significant medical benefit to providing BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic testing for the general population," stated Dr. Narod, co-discoverer of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.  "The current guidelines used for selecting patients for genetic testing overlook a significant proportion of carriers who could potentially be identified through a population-based screening.  However, in order to offer large-scale genetic screening, an accurate, low-cost test will need to be developed.  Based on our experience, we think WaferGen's Seq-ReadyTM TE System has the potential to enable the development of such a test."

"We evaluated a number of possible solutions in order to identify the best available testing technology, and determined that WaferGen's sample preparation solution for next generation sequencing was cost effective and user-friendly," added Dr. Akabari.  "We now look forward to assessing WaferGen's Seq-ReadyTM TE System on a larger scale."

"We are very excited to work with Dr. Narod and Dr. Akbari and their team on developing a large scale solution for BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 testing," said Ivan Trifunovich, President and Chief Executive Officer at WaferGen.  "WaferGen's Seq-ReadyTM TE system enables a one-step target enrichment and library preparation solution, which addresses CLIA-certified clinical laboratories' significant unmet needs in sequencing-based testing by providing uniform coverage of targeted genes, yielding better test specificity and sensitivity.  The superior performance of this new product is based on WaferGen's proprietary technology that relies on massively parallel singleplex PCR, where amplification is cleaner and better controlled, resulting in more accurate variant calling."

About Women's College Research Institute

Women's College Research Institute (WCRI) is a multidisciplinary research institute based at Women's College Hospital (WCH) – Canada's leading academic, ambulatory hospital and a world leader in women's health.  WCH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto and is a member of the Toronto Academic Health Science Network.  WCRI is one of only a few hospital-based research institutes worldwide to focus on women's health.  Our scientists, all of who have academic appointments at the University of Toronto, conduct research that improves the health of women, helps people prevent and manage complex chronic conditions, and delivers innovative health system solutions.  The Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit at WCRI, led by Tier 1 Canada Research Chair Dr. Steven Narod, is a world leader in the study of inherited cancers.  With a particular focus on breast and ovarian cancers, Dr. Narod leads this WCRI team in the study of genetic mutations that are known to increase the risk of many cancers – most notably the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.  Through its extensive research, publications, data collection, genetic testing programs and collaborations, the team has become an internationally renowned leader in identifying and developing effective strategies to prevent and manage these cancers women and families with a high inherited risk.

About WaferGen

WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc. is a life science company that offers innovative genomic solutions for clinical testing and research.  The SmartChip MyDesignTM Real-Time PCR System is a high-throughput genetic analysis platform for profiling and validating molecular biomarkers via microRNA and mRNA gene expression profiling, as well as single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping.  The SmartChip TETM System is a novel product offering for target enrichment geared towards clinical Next-Gen sequencing (NGS).  The Seq-ReadyTM TE System powered by SmartChipTM massively-parallel singleplex PCR technology, is an innovative one-step target enrichment and library preparation solution.  The Company now also offers the Apollo 324TM product line used in library preparation for NGS.  These three complementary technologies offer a powerful set of tools enabling more accurate, faster and cheaper genetic analysis based on Next-Gen Sequencing and Real-Time PCR.

For additional information, please see http://www.wafergen.com

Forward Looking Statements

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Investor Contacts:

LifeSci Advisors, LLC
Brian Stollar

WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc.
Ivan Trifunovich
(510) 651-4450




SOURCE WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc.