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Pre-commercial development of high-performance microfluidic single-cell whole genome amplification

  • Project Leaders: Carl Hansen
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $762,800
  • Competition: Proof of Concept - Round 6
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome BC
  • Fiscal Year: 2013
  • Status: Closed

The project focused on developing new methods of performing preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), which is the genetic testing of multiple embryos created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) in order to identify a genetically healthy embryo for implantation. PGD is a rapidly growing market, with a well-established commercial need for high-performance genetic analysis of DNA-limited samples (embryo biopsies composed of a few cells). The project incorporated a new Vancouver-based biotech company, Resolution Diagnostics, with the initial goal of developing more accurate and complete genetic testing of embryos created by IVF. This company was co-founded with Vancouver-based private equity and management firm Northview Life Sciences who are experienced in starting up life science-based companies and who have provided initial capital for incorporation and IP protection costs. The team has also attracted the interest of a group of angel investors who are scheduled to provide a seed funding round in early 2016. A US provisional patent has been filed to protect the developed technology, and the team is currently negotiating the licensing terms with the UBC UILO.