B.C. Industry News

Biotechnology Focus – Genome BC to invest in made in Canada “Ranger Technology”

January 28, 2014

Important step in the preparation of DNA samples for “next-generation” DNA sequencing

Automation and robotics are integral aspects of scientific research and efficiency is key to its effectiveness. Coastal Genomics, a BC-based company has developed “Ranger Technology”, a workstation that automates a process known as agarose gel size selection to isolate DNA fragments of a desired length which is necessary for sequencing analysis. Until now agarose gel size selection has largely been a manual, low efficiency process used to prepare DNA samples for sequencing. The Ranger automated workstation is capable of completely automating the process offering anywhere between one and 96 samples in a single run, an important step in the preparation of DNA samples for “next-generation” DNA sequencing used in research.

Genome BC to invest in the “Ranger Technology” and its manufacturing

Genome BC is supporting product development of this new technology and facilitating early access to customers through its Strategic Opportunities Fund for Industry (SOFi) program. The SOFi program seeks to accelerate commercial potential with local companies and facilitate collaboration with industry.

“The work being done by Coastal Genomics, the building of tangible products right here in our province, is an essential component of keeping our vibrant life sciences community on the cutting-edge,” says Dr. Alan Winter, president and CEO of Genome BC. “The Ranger system is also another example of a significant tool being developed from the Genome BC Technology Development platform.”

Ranger Technology assemblies will be manufactured in Canada and then shipped to international end-users. Coastal Genomics already has a staff of four full-time employees and a stable of local contractors helping to get the work completed by June of 2014. Demand for the product is on the rise.

“We estimate that the market addressed by our offering will grow from $20 million in 2012 to $100 million in 2016,” says Matthew Nesbitt, president of Coastal Genomics. “Our Ranger Technology generates the highest quality material for downstream applications at a rate and cost that accommodates groups of any throughput.”

He adds that the Ranger Technology will allow DNA sequencing service providers, gene synthesis companies and others, to establish the use of agarose gel size selection for pipelines that have been growing explosively due to revolutions in the field of DNA research.