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Genotyping solution to help Genome Quebec achieve HapMap research goals


Montral, QC, — February 20, 2003 To support its contribution to the International HapMap Project as well as other genotyping projects, Gnome Qubec has announced it is purchasing Illumina’s SNP genotyping solution. The purchase includes all aspects of a production-scale laboratory and will be an integral component of the new Gnome Qubec Innovation Centre, located on the McGill University campus in Montral.

When the whole system is installed, the genotyping laboratory at Gnome Qubec Innovation Centre will be able to produce routinely one million genotypes per day, the world’s largest throughput of any genotyping system outside of Illumina, according to the manufacturer.

The genotyping laboratory solution is built around Illumina’s BeadArray technology and features high sample throughput and multiplex levels, LIMS (laboratory information management system) control and low running cost per SNP scored, according to Illumina. The system will also include Sherlock scanning equipment, GoldenGate assay protocols, LIMS and analytical software, fluid-handling robotics, and access to Sentrix array matrices and reagent supply.

Announced in late October in Washington, DC, the International HapMap Project will speed the discovery of genes related to common illnesses such as asthma, cancer and heart disease. The project will identify and map blocks of DNA into which the human genome is organized. These haplotype blocks contain many SNPs (single-letter sequence variations that represent the most common source of genetic variation), only one or two of which need to be identified to know all the SNPs associated with that one block.

Project contributors include research groups representing Canada, China, Japan, Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the United States.

"Illumina’s system enables a scale of experimentation and cost-effectiveness that is unmatched in the industry and consistent with what we need to execute our HapMap Project deliverables," says Thomas Hudson, MD, principal investigator and head of the Canadian HapMap Project team. "We’ll leverage Illumina’s technology to develop over 150,000 assays and provide the Canadian HapMap contribution 10 percent of the global total. Equally important, the system will support a wide range of additional genotyping applications, such as linkage analysis and fine chromosomal mapping, to help the Canadian genomics community contribute materially to an improved global understanding of genetic variation and function."

"It is exciting for all of us to be among the first to integrate this leading-edge technology to Gnome Qubec Innovation Centre," adds Paul L’Archevque, president and CEO of Gnome Qubec. "This is in line with our mission, to create in Qubec within five years, one of the most important centres for ge nomic and proteomic research in the world."