Verogen and Gene by Gene Form Groundbreaking Partnership to Accelerate Adoption of Forensic Investigative Genetic Genealogy
The alliance between database stewards will standardize bioinformatic methods for FIGG analysis and offer cost-effective whole genome sequencing services for challenging forensic samples.
SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Verogen, Inc. and Gene by Gene today announced a partnership to accelerate the adoption of forensic investigative genetic genealogy. As part of the agreement, Gene by Gene, parent company of FamilyTreeDNA, will support DNA uploads generated from the Verogen ForenSeq Kintelligence kit, the only ANAB accredited technology approved for forensic investigative genetic genealogy (FIGG). This partnership effectively doubles the number of profiles available for FIGG matching. Leveraging database knowledge, scientists from both organizations will also create superior algorithms and software that increase the probability of generating uploadable single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) profiles and lower bioinformatic costs enabling standardization of the FIGG workflow.
FIGG is a DNA-based investigative lead-generation technique that leverages genotyping and next-generation sequencing technologies to identify perpetrators of violent crime, exonerate the innocent, and identify missing persons. Verogen’s GEDmatch database and Gene by Gene’s genealogical database are the only databases that enable FIGG and have cumulatively helped resolve over 500 cold cases that were previously considered unsolvable. This long-term partnership aims to ensure that all uploads adhere to the terms set forth by Verogen and Gene by Gene, including existing requirements to opt-in to the genetic witness program to show up as a familial connection, and standardize analysis options and bioinformatic methods.
“Verogen is working to deliver industry-leading, operationally-relevant DNA sequencing workflows to forensic laboratories through our own innovations as well as with strategic partnerships that enhance our offerings,” said Brett Williams, Chief Executive Officer at Verogen. “The launch of ForenSeq Kintelligence gave public crime labs a cost-effective solution that minimizes broad medical privacy concerns and is aligned with forensic quality assurance standards. Currently, FIGG is expensive and slow. By applying database context to create best-in-class toolsets for commonly used methods, like imputation, and allowing labs to upload ForenSeq Kintelligence profiles to the Gene by Gene database, this partnership will drive an impactful shift in the efficiency and time of analysis.”
“Verogen and Gene by Gene are committed to ensuring all law enforcement agencies, regardless of size or budget, have the ability to utilize FIGG as a resource,” said Dr. Lior Rauchberger, Chief Executive Officer at Gene by Gene. “By combining our unique areas of expertise, we will offer advanced technologies such as whole genome sequencing to key partners, and remove bottlenecks with optimized, transparent, and accessible informatics toolsets. Enabling ForenSeq Kintelligence uploads in Gene by Gene’s database maximizes the impact of a workflow that many in the forensic community are currently validating.”
Verogen is a dedicated developer of DNA-based biometric human identification products for analysis of forensic genomic samples. Working closely with the forensic community, Verogen places exceptional value on flexible, scalable solutions that deliver reliable results. To learn more, visit www.verogen.com.
About Gene by Gene
Founded in 2000, Gene by Gene, Ltd. pioneered the direct-to-consumer genetic genealogy industry and now provides genetic testing services to a wide range of consumers and institutional customers through its four divisions focusing on ancestry, health, research, and paternity. Gene by Gene is a CAP/CLIA/NYSDOH accredited laboratory and, through its clinical health division, offers health, wellness, and regulated diagnostic testing services. The privately held company is headquartered in Houston, TX. To learn more, visit www.genebygene.com.
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Swathi A. Kumar
Senior Director of Marketing and Product Management
Source: Verogen, Inc.