Agena Bioscience Launches LungFUSION Panel for Rapid Identification of ALK, RET, and ROS1 Translocations in NSCLC Tumors

SAN DIEGO, March 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Agena Bioscience today released the LungFUSION Panel for rapid and sensitive identification of oncogenic ALK, RET, and ROS1 gene fusions in non-small cell lung cancer tumors.

Using as little as 10 ng of cDNA template, the research use only, single-well panel identifies expressed translocations of known clinical relevance in FFPE and fresh frozen tissue samples. The MassARRAY®-based assay provides a simpler, sensitive alternative to conventional screening methods such as IHC stains and FISH, both of which require high-quality samples and time consuming protocols.

A similar NSCLC panel evaluating ROS1 and RET translocations was published in February by investigators at Wayne State University School of Medicine in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology. The investigators reported their custom MassARRAY-based test — which uses a different assay design than Agena Bioscience’s new panel — as capable of “detecting an event in test specimens containing 0.5% positive tumors” and having “exceptionally low sample input, high cost efficiency, flexibility, and rapid turnover.”

“Rare events in NSCLC tumor samples can be difficult or laborious to determine through optical genetic analysis techniques. The LungFUSION panel is an inexpensive, single-well assay amenable to formalin-fixed tissue and fine needle aspirates which may be of varying quality, allowing NSCLC studies to expand in sample size and confidence level within existing research budgets,” said Marisa Pearce, Agena Bioscience’s Sr. Director, Marketing.

The new LungFUSION panel contains built-in controls to simultaneously assess RNA quality, report DNA contamination, and determine the relative amount of lung tissue present in the sample. Agena Bioscience’s software automatically reports translocation status for each sample as well as a confidence score.

The MassARRAY system detects genetic variation directly by end-point PCR and label-free mass spectrometry. Due to the high confidence level mass spectrometry provides, MassARRAY data is frequently used to validate variants detected from genome sequencing in research and clinical settings. The platform’s flexible nature and simple bioinformatics allows laboratories to develop targeted, actionable panels for routine or specialized assays for as little as tens of dollars per test.

About Agena Bioscience

Agena Bioscience is a San Diego, CA based life sciences and clinical diagnostics company that recently acquired the Bioscience business of Sequenom, Inc. and is now offering the MassARRAY® System. The system is a highly sensitive, quantitative method for nucleic acid detection via MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry for high-throughput genotyping and mutation profiling for cancer and other disease research, companion diagnostics, pharmacogenomics, molecular blood group typing, epigenetics, clinical genetics, ag-bio genetics, and molecular sample identification for bio-banking. www.agenabio.com