Industry News: FBI approves Verogen's next-gen forensic DNA technology for National DNA Index System

14 Oct 2019

Verogen Inc. has announced that the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation has approved the company’s next-gen forensic DNA technology for use by forensic laboratories generating DNA profiles for upload to the National DNA Index System (NDIS). The FBI manages NDIS to enable comparison of eligible DNA profiles contributed by participating federal, state, and municipal forensic laboratories. 

Verogen’s MiSeq FGx® Forensic Genomics System is the first NDIS approved solution for genomic DNA analysis that harnesses “Next Generation Sequencing” (NGS) technology to dramatically increase profiling efficiency and data recovery from biological evidence. 

“This is an important advancement,” said Dr. Jenifer Smith, Director of the Washington, D.C., Department of Forensic Sciences. Dr. Smith’s laboratory was part of the consortium of forensic U.S. laboratories that submitted internal validation results to the FBI as part of the NDIS approval process. Other submitting laboratories include the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL), University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC), and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (in collaboration with Battelle). 

“NGS enables us to efficiently generate more comprehensive and useful data. This means we will be able to aid more investigations and close more cases,” Dr. Smith said. 

The MiSeq FGx® Forensic Genomics System is a sample-to-answer workflow including the ForenSeq™ DNA Signature Prep kit, MiSeq FGx® sequencing instrument platform, and ForenSeq™ Universal Analysis Software. The system allows forensic scientists to analyze up to 231 genomic DNA markers simultaneously— supplying significantly more actionable data than commonly analyzed using older methods. The Verogen system can develop more detailed profiles from degraded, mixed, and limited biological evidence samples, addressing a wider range of forensic questions in a single test. 

With NDIS approval granted, U.S. forensic laboratories can now access a much larger pool of federal funding administered by the National Institute of Justice to adopt and implement this powerful crime fighting tool. 

“Obtaining NDIS approval is an enormous step forward for the forensic genomics community, and for mainstream adoption of this technology,” said Brett Williams, Verogen CEO.  “Verogen is proud to advance the transition of NGS technology from a visionary method to a fully validated, NDIS approved tool for forensic science.” 

The MiSeq FGx® Forensic Genomics System is available worldwide. It has been approved for use in the national DNA databases of France and the Netherlands and now the United States.

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