British Columbia Cancer Agency in Canada has purchased RainDance Technologies’ new ThunderStorm system, which is designed to test for hereditary cancer using next-generation sequencing.

ThunderStorm, a fully-automated and walk-away targeted sequencing solution, uses microdroplet-based technology to process up to 96 samples per run.

The system supports a number of targeted sequencing applications such as candidate gene lists, regions of association, signalling pathways and the deep sequencing of heterogeneous tumour samples.

The British Columbia Cancer Agency aims to sequence a large number of samples from patients with hereditary predisposition to various cancers over the next two years.

This will generate data that will be used as the basis to guide clinical management.

RainDance Technologies chief marketing officer Andy Watson said the ThunderStorm system will detect the variations in the genome with improved accuracy and uniformity compared with other sequence enrichment methods.

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"The ThunderStorm System is well suited for cancer research projects that require the rapid, high-resolution analysis of specific genes of interest," Watson said.