Takara Bio’s first-to-market large-scale single-cell NGS profiling technologies poised to revolutionize biomarker discovery

San Jose, California—Takara Bio USA, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Takara Bio Inc., today announced plans to launch two critical solutions for oncology research. These automated single-cell total RNA-seq and DNA-seq library preparation kits will provide high sample and cell throughput, less hands-on time, and the ability to capture more information than other available technologies. The Shasta™ Total RNA-Seq Kit will detect splicing isoforms, gene fusions, and non-polyadenylated RNAs through full-length transcriptome profiling of up to 100,000 single cells per run. Similarly, the Shasta™ Whole-Genome Amplification Kit will enable novel insights into tumor heterogeneity through copy number variant (CNV) and single nucleotide variant (SNV) analyses of over 1,500 single cells at once.

“Our new kits will break the limits of current methods to enable true biological discovery,” said Carol Lou, President & CEO of Takara Bio USA. “Existing full-length RNA-seq and whole-genome amplification techniques process only 96–384 single cells per plate. With the new Shasta™ technologies, Takara Bio will introduce first-to-market high-scale solutions that can pick up important genetic events other technologies miss. With higher throughput and sensitivity come higher confidence in results and advances that weren’t before possible.”

Several technological limitations have slowed oncology researchers’ ability to discover critical biomarkers. Popular single-cell RNA-seq methods, although high-throughput, lack full-length transcript coverage and detect limited mRNA biotypes—leaving out critical information from precious samples. Even current instrument-free high-throughput single-cell RNA-seq workflows take several days to complete and are limited to mRNA-only readout. Other full-length RNA-seq methods, such as the manual Smart-seq2 protocol, cannot easily be scaled and are time consuming. Takara Bio’s new total RNA-seq solution will allow researchers to automatically prepare full-length libraries from up to 100,000 single cells and up to 96 samples per experiment with only two rounds of barcoding, saving hands-on time and minimizing errors.

Initial methods for single-cell whole-genome amplification have been limited to profiling hundreds of cells at a time. Additionally, current droplet technologies for single-cell DNA-seq, based on targeted panels, fail to capture key genomic mutation events such as chromosome arm-level CNVs, which play pivotal roles in various tumors. Takara Bio’s nontargeted, whole-genome approach will allow for detection of CNVs—including arm-level CNVs—and SNVs in over 1,500 single cells and up to 8 samples per run, bringing together desired throughput, whole-genome coverage, and sensitivity needed for novel biomarker discovery.

The new technologies were designed as part of an end-to-end solution with the company’s single-cell NGS automation platform and Cogent™ bioinformatics tools, which even beginners can use to create publication-quality figures. Researchers and other professionals wanting details about the launch can sign up to receive priority access to product and technical information.

About Takara Bio

Takara Bio USA, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Takara Bio Inc. that manufactures and distributes kits, reagents, and instruments for the life sciences, including NGS, PCR, gene delivery, genome editing, stem cell research, nucleic acid and protein purification, and automated sample preparation.

Takara Bio Inc., a world leader in biotechnology research and development, offers a host of life science research solutions, from enzymes and GMP-grade reagents to contracted cell and gene therapy manufacturing services and is the developer of the RetroNectin reagent, a world standard in gene therapy protocols. Takara Bio is committed to preventing disease and improving the quality of life for all people through the use of biotechnology.

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