ASHG 2023, an opportunity to catch up with fast-moving biotech companies
When a prominent scientific society organizes an annual meeting, you can expect the meeting’s conference program and exhibition hall to attract a number of relevant companies. Moreover, the meeting will be a suitable occasion for these companies to highlight some timely developments. Well, the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) Annual Meeting is no exception.
here in The generalWe’ve noticed that several companies we’ve covered recently made their presence felt at the current ASHG meeting. These companies include NanoString Technologies, Quantum-Si, and Ultima Genomics.
NanoString, a spatial biology company, says it provides “an ecosystem for innovative discoveries and translational research solutions, enabling its customers to map the world of biology.” More details about NanoString can be found at The general NanoString archive of the website. For example, the company has been discussed in several The general Articles on spatial biology. We also featured an interview with Joseph M. Beechem, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at NanoString.
At ASHG, NanoString will be in booth 1523. The company will also present an educational session (“In-Depth Cell and Receptor Maps from the Spatial Atlas of Human Anatomy (SAHA) Project”) and four posters (each of which will describe applications powered by one of the NanoString platforms). One of NanoString’s three speakers at the event will be none other than Beecham.
On NanoString’s website, some details are provided about the company’s educational session: “The goal (of the SAHA initiative) is to create a comprehensive, open-source spatial reference standard that can be accessed by researchers around the world to advance our knowledge about spatial biology. NanoString offers a comprehensive set of spatial solutions, Including CosMx™ Spatial Molecular Imager (SMI) for single-cell spatial imaging (which identifies rare cell types and captures cell-cell interactions) and GeoMx® Digital Spatial Tissue Biology (DSP)-driven full transcriptome characterization for large translational studies. The AtoMx™ Spatial Information Platform (SIP) solves the challenge of managing large spatial datasets with an open, cost-effective, cloud-based informatics solution.
Quantum-Si, which calls itself a protein sequencing company, has a portfolio of technologies focused on “revolutionizing proteomics.” Central to the company’s technology is a semiconductor chip designed to “enable next-generation single-molecule protein sequencing and digitize proteomic research to advance drug discovery and diagnostics beyond what has been possible with DNA sequencing.”
More details about Quantum-Si can be found at The general The Quantum-Si archive on the website, which highlights articles published in 2023. For a slightly deeper look, go back to 2021 General edge About Jonathan Rothberg, Ph.D., founder of Quantum-Si. In the profile (“Rothberg returns: Quantum-Si aims to digitize proteins”), Rothberg is quoted as saying: “What we use is time. The nice thing is that the chips are very precise in measuring time, so we can tell Different amino acids. We can even differentiate between modified amino acids. When you’re developing drugs for a big pharmaceutical company, you want to know which proteins have been modified and we can see those modifications.
ASHG, Quantum-Si will be in booth 115, showcasing its next generation protein sequencing instrument, Platinum™, and sharing its vision for transforming genomics and proteomics research. Quantum-Si Chief Commercial Officer, Grace Johnston, Ph.D., and CEO, Jeff Hawkins, will be available to discuss the company’s technology and the vital importance of protein sequencing and next-generation proteomics.
Additionally, on Thursday, November 2, at 4:30 p.m., Quantum-Si scientists will present: Unleashing Next Generation Protein Sequencing with Platinum™: How It Will Transform Genomics and Proteomics Research.
Ultima Genomics, a developer of an innovative new high-throughput sequencing construct, has attracted a lot of attention since the company launched the UG100 platform. According to a preprint from company scientists for bioRxiv, the UG100 is “a novel massively parallel sequencing platform that combines an open flow cell design on a circular chip with a large surface area and mostly natural oligonucleotides that allows optical endpoint detection without reversible termination.” “
The flow cell contains a dense array of beads in a row, and as it rotates, reagents dispersed near its center are spread over its surface by centrifugal force. The rotating surface is then continuously scanned, in a process similar to that used to read a CD.
For more details about UG100 and Ultima Genomics, visit The general Ultima Genomics website archive. In particular, check out our recent profile providing extensive feedback from Ultima CEO Gilad Almoji, Ph.D. For example, he detailed the company’s slogan, which is “Unleash the power of genomics at scale.”
“I have yet to encounter any area where people don’t want more data,” Almoji said. “Every (person) will have a complete genome sequence, that’s a given.” But he added that this is someone’s germline — the DNA sequence they were born with — not how they change. What happens to your mutation profile or your methylation profile – that’s not static. Al-Moji stressed that this data will become a larger and larger part of healthcare.
At ASHG, Ultima will be in booth 1823, presenting an industry education session titled “Enabling Genomics at Scale.” The company, along with several early access customers, will also offer new data across a range of different apps.
Sean Zhao of Baylor College of Medicine will present data generated at Baylor using the UG100 early access instrument in a lecture titled “Clinical Utility of Deep RNAseq in the Diagnosis of Mendelian Disorders,” demonstrating how whole-transcriptome deep sequencing of clinical samples reveals isoforms and alternative splicing patterns beyond What is typically seen with the current standard depth of sequence.
Betty Liu from the Greenleaf Laboratory at Stanford University will highlight the use of Ultima technology to systematically investigate the effects of different transcription factor (TF) levels on accessibility and gene expression using high-throughput ATAC-seq.
Watchmaker Genomics will demonstrate gene fusion detection through cost-effective whole transcriptome sequencing using the enhanced Watchmaker RNA library kit.
Ultima will deliver improvements in germline short variant and copy number variant of whole genome sequencing, demonstrating that its sequencing methodology provides a robust and cost-effective method that holds promise for both research and clinical applications. In collaboration with Variantyx, these methods are being applied to whole-genome sequencing of clinical samples to demonstrate accurate detection of common disease-causing clinical variants.