RainDance Launches a Next Generation Digital PCR System
03 Apr 2012

RainDance Technologies, Inc., the Digital Biology™ company, introduced its new RainDrop™ Digital PCR System at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Chicago. The new system is designed for new performance standards in sensitivity, multiplexing and absolute quantitation in PCR analysis.

Capable of generating more than a billion reactions in a single day, the RainDrop System transforms the performance of molecular assays by enabling digital answers across a number of important applications including low-frequency tumor allele detection, gene expression, copy number variation, and SNP measurement.

Built on RainDance’s patented and proven RainStorm™ picodroplet technology, the RainDrop System generates up to 10 million picoliter-sized droplets per lane. Since each droplet encapsulates a single molecule, researchers can quickly determine the absolute number of droplets containing specific target DNA and compare that to the number of droplets with background wild-type DNA. The RainDrop System also shifts the current digital PCR (dPCR) paradigm from a single-color-per-marker approach to a two color and varying probe intensity method that is capable of multiplexing up to 10 markers.

In a recent Lab-on-a-Chip paper, scientists from Université de Strasbourg and Université Paris Descartes, used the RainDance dPCR technology to detect a single mutated copy of KRAS in a background of 200,000 wild-type copies. By processing reactions in millions of picoliter droplets, the platform improved sensitivity by two orders of magnitude compared to existing technologies.

“With RainDance digital PCR, we were able to achieve absolute quantification of mutated and tumor-circulating DNA and improve the detection of a circulating tumor by comparing its proportion to non-tumor DNA,” added Professor Pierre Laurent-Puig, M.D., Ph.D. of the Université Paris Descartes. “Absolute quantification is critical, especially in research that lays the groundwork for future clinical applications, because it allows you to generate meaningful thresholds that will be required for prognostic and diagnostic tools.”

“Two years ago, RainDance embarked on an ambitious goal when it set out to develop a digital PCR technology platform that would fundamentally transform cancer research, and open the door to new ways that cancers may be detected, monitored and treated in the future,” said Roopom Banerjee, President and CEO of RainDance Technologies. “With the introduction of our RainDrop System at AACR, we have realized this vision and officially ushered in the next generation of PCR. As several of our early customers have demonstrated at this meeting, we will soon have absolute answers to many of the most complex questions in cancer research and tumor progression.”

Beginning in the summer of 2012, RainDance will be offering a select number of scientists the opportunity to participate in the RainDrop First Access Program. This multi-day program will consist of both classroom and wet-lab sessions. During the classroom sessions, participants will interact with the senior RainDance scientists responsible for developing this dPCR technology. The wet-lab sessions will provide hands-on instrumentation and software training with assays and samples. Participants will also be able to choose from a fixed menu of assays and run up to 32 of their own samples.

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RainDance Technologies, Inc.
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Kerry Parker
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