Twist Bioscience Corporation (NASDAQ: TWST), a company enabling customers to succeed through its offering of high-quality synthetic DNA using its silicon platform, and Victorian Clinical Genetic Services (VCGS), an Australian-based specialist provider of prenatal, childhood and adult genetics services, today announced that together they have developed a novel whole exome capture assay. The assay, which utilizes Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) to conduct analysis and sequencing of the entire exome, has been designed to maximize clinical utility, particularly for diagnostics and carrier screening. It will be used to help inform clinical management decisions for patients and their families.
The assay was developed by combining Twist’s Human Comprehensive Exome with customized and validated inherited and rare disease content from VCGS, with a specific focus on minimizing gaps in clinically relevant genes and transcripts. In particular, the assay can target difficult to cover, non-coding regions outside the normal exome that are known to contain pathogenic variants, resulting in high-quality actionable data for clinicians. The assay also allows for reanalysis of data when new disease-causing genes are discovered. VCGS is accredited by Australian authorities to use this assay as an in vitro diagnostic product.
“Our collaboration with Twist has provided us with a unique whole exome analysis solution that provides comprehensive and consistent high quality results in all clinically relevant regions. The uniformity of coverage achieved using the Twist approach means there are fewer gaps in clinically relevant data, providing a high quality, high value service for our customers,” said Sebastian Lunke, Ph.D., head of the Division of Genetics and Genomics at VCGS and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia. “Another key advantage is the assay’s flexibility, as it enables both processing of single samples or larger batches which allows us to accommodate urgent clinical samples.”
“As one of the largest providers of genetic services in Australia, VCGS helps families identify the potential cause of diseases, often at the prenatal stage. We are pleased to enable this specific and important screening for VCGS,” said Emily M. Leproust, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Twist Bioscience.
About Twist’s Comprehensive Exome Assay
Exome sequencing has become a widely-used practice in clinics and diagnostic labs. The Twist Comprehensive Exome assay expands upon the content of the Twist Human Core Exome to include coverage of more than 99 percent of protein-coding genes from all three key public genetic databases: CCDS, RefSeq and GENCODE, providing best-in-class coverage of the most up-to-date content. In addition, the assay can be customized quickly and affordably. Because of the updated and comprehensive coverage, the new assay allows customers to increase confidence in variant detection experiments while enjoying maximum sequencing efficiency and best coverage uniformity.
Victorian Clinical Genetics Services (VCGS) is a specialist prenatal, childhood and adult genetics service. VCGS is an Australian not-for-profit subsidiary of Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and one of the largest contributors driving genetic healthcare, research and policy in the country. Located on site at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, VCGS provides an integrated genetic consultation, counselling, testing and diagnostic service for children, adults and families.
VCGS works closely with a wide range of support groups and health professionals, including general practitioners and specialists, to support them with the diagnosis and care of their patients, and to understand often rare and complex conditions. Clinical geneticists and genetic counsellors work in consultation with medical scientists and clinical bioinformaticians to provide the most accurate interpretation of genetic data. VCGS has a reputation for reliability, quality and exemplary service and is valued and trusted by health professionals in Australia and overseas.
About Twist Bioscience Corporation
Twist Bioscience is a leading and rapidly growing synthetic biology and genomics company that has developed a disruptive DNA synthesis platform to industrialize the engineering of biology. The core of the platform is a proprietary technology that pioneers a new method of manufacturing synthetic DNA by “writing” DNA on a silicon chip. Twist is leveraging its unique technology to manufacture a broad range of synthetic DNA-based products, including synthetic genes, tools for next-generation sequencing (NGS) preparation, and antibody libraries for drug discovery and development. Twist is also pursuing longer-term opportunities in digital data storage in DNA and biologics drug discovery. Twist makes products for use across many industries including healthcare, industrial chemicals, agriculture and academic research.
Legal Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained herein, including without limitation, the ability of the novel whole exome capture assays to provide a more cost effective offering and to identify the potential causes of diseases, are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other important factors that may cause Twist Bioscience’s actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the risks and uncertainties of the ability to attract new customers and retain and grow sales from existing customers; risks and uncertainties of rapidly changing technologies and extensive competition in synthetic biology could make the products Twist Bioscience is developing obsolete or non-competitive; uncertainties of the retention of a significant customer; risks of third party claims alleging infringement of patents and proprietary rights or seeking to invalidate Twist Bioscience’s patents or proprietary rights; and the risk that Twist Bioscience’s proprietary rights may be insufficient to protect its technologies. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to Twist Bioscience’s business in general, see Twist Bioscience’s risk factors set forth in Twist Bioscience’s Annual Report Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 27, 2020 and subsequent filings with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and Twist Bioscience specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.