Edico Genome And South Africa’s Centre For Proteomic And Genomic Research Deploy First DRAGEN Bio-IT Platform In Africa

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SAN DIEGO and CAPE TOWN, South AfricaOct. 10, 2017 – Edico Genome and the Centre for Proteomic and Genomic Research (CPGR) today announced the deployment of the first DRAGENTM Bio-IT platform in Africa. Selected by CPGR to help drive adoption of precision medicine and genomics, DRAGEN will be made available to life science and biotech communities in South Africa. The DRAGEN card is integrated into a scalable and flexible 2U Dell EMC PowerEdge R730 server.

CPGR is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing state-of-the-art ‘omics’ services to South Africa’s life sciences and biotech communities, originating from an initiative by the South Africa Department of Science and Technology(DST). CPGR combines innovative, information-rich genomic and proteomic technologies with bio-computational pipelines to develop customized offerings for users in both academia and industry. CPGR hosts a suite of genomics and proteomics platforms that allow for the design and execution of projects using single or multiple ‘omics’ methodologies, with the goal of generating targeted and systems biological insights. CPGR will utilize DRAGEN to help advance the development of next-generation sequencing (NGS) applications and data analysis pipelines.

“One of our goals is to inspire adoption and entrepreneurship surrounding genomics and personalized medicine in Africa,” said Reinhard Hiller, Ph.D., managing director at CPGR. “We’re dedicated to providing our community with the tools and resources needed to bring South Africa into an internationally competitive bio-economy. With the integration of DRAGEN we significantly enhance our data processing capabilities, enabling us to turn around new pipelines in a fraction of the time.”

DRAGEN is highly reconfigurable, using a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) to provide hardware-accelerated implementations of genome pipeline algorithms, such as BCL conversion, compression, mapping, alignment, sorting, duplicate marking and haplotype variant calling. The platform supports whole genomes, exomes and targeted panels, and includes comprehensive pipelines for Germline, Somatic, RNA, Methylation and Population Calling analysis.

“The continued adoption and integration of next-generation sequencing in Africa will play a vital role in not only the health and wellbeing of its citizens, but also advance the development of the genomics industry around the globe,” said Pieter van Rooyen, Ph.D., chief executive officer at Edico Genome. “The idea for DRAGEN was developed when I was working in Africa and realized firsthand that while sequencing was relatively easy, resource constraints hindered analysis of genomic data. From the start, DRAGEN was designed to deliver rapid analysis with high accuracy all from a single server, and as a native South African I’m proud to be able to enable organizations such as CPGR to expand the use of genomics to academic researchers, physicians and companies.”

By implementing algorithms as logic circuits which can be massively parallelized, DRAGEN is able to deliver best-in-class performance, reducing the time needed to analyze a whole human genome at 30x coverage from 20 to 30 hours using traditional software-based algorithms (BWA-GATK) to approximately 20 minutes. CPGR is the latest addition to DRAGEN’s global customer base, which includes Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic MedicineBaylor Genetics, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) and others.