London, UK – 4 May 2020 – The UK genomic tools developer, RevoluGen Ltd., has appointed Sir John Chisholm as non-executive Chairman.
Sir John was most recently Executive Chairman of Genomics England in which role he oversaw the world leading 100,000 Genome Project, which led to the UK being the first country to introduce Genomic Medicine into its health system. His expertise will help steer the development of RevoluGen’s business including the optimal application of its leading Fire Monkey / Fire Flower products.
RevoluGen’s Fire Monkey / Fire Flower product uses spin columns to both extract High Molecular Weight DNA (HMW-DNA) with an average length of 100 kb or more from animal and bacterial cells and to remove the fragments of DNA smaller than 10 kb. The longer the DNA that can be extracted intact, the better any subsequent long genomic sequencing reads can be. For example, using RevoluGen’s Fire Monkey / Fire Flower kit to prepare certain bacterial samples has already been shown to improve the sequencing results obtained from Oxford Nanopore Technologies’ MinIon product by over 100%.
This technology has numerous potential applications across the health system. For example, one important application could be the genetic targeting of anti-cancer drugs. Another more immediate application may be sewage monitoring for infectious diseases. Recent research from the Netherlands has demonstrated Coronavirus particles in sewage from a number of Dutch towns which confirms that the underlying principle is valid for the COVID-19 disease. This supports similar results from Australia and the USA about detecting and measuring the SARS-CoV-2 virus in sewage. Early warning of viral load in the community could allow more precise planning of lockdowns and let-ups. Revolugen already has a protocol optimised to extract HMW-DNA and RNA from stool samples that can elucidate the metagenomics of the gastrointestinal tract. This protocol is being used in a major trial in Bangladesh by the Quadram Institute studying Campylobacter infections and for the genetic typing of multi-antibiotic resistant versions of Typhoid.
RevoluGen’s CEO Pieter Haitsma Mulier, said: “Sir John Chisholm will prove to be a great addition to our armoury as he brings a wealth of genomic experience and expertise to RevoluGen just as the company is bringing its lead product Fire Monkey / Fire Flower to market in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic.”
“I am delighted to join this innovative company with a product that may prove highly relevant to the present pandemic,” Sir John Chisholm said.
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