US-based Agena Bioscience has extended its existing MassARRAY portfolio with the introduction of MassARRAY 24-Well System for mass spectrometry-based genetic analysis.
The new 24-Well format is designed for smaller clinical testing laboratories, which require modest sample throughput, reduced initial hardware costs and reduced time to result.
Development of the new instrument was started by the company based on the clinical community’s feedback shortly after acquiring the MassARRAY platform from Sequenom in 2014.
The MassARRAY system detects genetic variation directly by label-free mass spectrometry, analysing 50 genetic loci per well.
Data from the MassARRAY system are often used to validate variants detected from genome sequencing in research and clinical settings.
Agena CEO Peter Dansky said: "Labs repeatedly told us if various platforms afforded greater freedom, in terms of test development, accurate results at low cost, and turnaround times, they could be providing more genetic tests to more patients.
"We’re answering those sentiments with a flexible platform that drives down costs to a few dollars to tens of dollars per sample and cuts out big bioinformatics."
According to the company, assay design software and services of the MassARRAY platform allow clinical laboratories to develop targeted, actionable panels for routine or specialised tests.
Mr Dansky said: "With the new 24-Well System labs can cut wait times and costs for smaller panels or panels that are run less often, such as a lung cancer panel for ALK and other gene mutations.
"The 24-Well scale is also ideal for clinical research studies, which often involve targeted testing of a small cohort of 5-50 patients."
The company said genetic testing on a MassARRAY system can cost less than a tenth of the cost of next-generation sequencing tests, while the liquid biopsy field can also exploit the smaller MassARRAY format.
The latest MassARRAY chemistry, UltraSEEK, can detect rare variations as low as 0.1% allele frequency, as well evaluate up to ten genetic loci per well.