Vertebrate Genome Project Rules Bionano Optical Mapping Technology As Essential Part of Assembling Reference Quality Genomes

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bionano Genomics, Inc. (Nasdaq: BNGO) announced today that the International Genome 10K (G10K) Consortium selected Bionano optical mapping technology as an essential component of their work in a review publication of all methods for assembling the most accurate and complete reference genomes to date. Based on their evaluation, the G10K Consortium will be incorporating Bionano's Saphyr System in the Vertebrate Genomes Project (VGP), an effort to generate high-quality, complete reference genomes for all ~70,000 extant vertebrate species. The breadth of this project exceeds any other undertaking in genome biology and may prove to be the basis of discovering new treatments, vaccines and diagnostic tests, including helping in the search for those for COVID-19.

The study, published in bioRxiv, presents lessons learned from sequencing and assembling the genomes of 16 species representing major vertebrate lineages (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, teleost fishes and cartilaginous fishes). The researchers found that the complex, repetitive nature of vertebrate genomes requires long-read sequencing technologies, and that long-range optical maps, such as those generated by Saphyr, are essential for maximizing genome quality.

Specifically, the publication shows that Bionano optical maps can correct errors in the sequence assembly, can span gaps caused by repetitive sequence stretches and can piece fragmented sequence assemblies together in scaffolds that span chromosome arms. 

Erik Holmlin, PhD, CEO of Bionano Genomics, commented, “We have worked closely with the G10K and VGP over the years, and are proud that their main sequencing centers in the US, UK and Germany each acquired Saphyr systems for their work. This publication helps demonstrate that Saphyr is the only currently available genome analysis technology able to span the most complex regions of the genome and reveal the true structure of the genome. The importance of the work of the VGP and others like it work can not be overstated, which was demonstrated recently when we announced that the Bat 1K global genome consortium in coordination with the VGP used Saphyr to build reference-quality genomes of six bat species, contributing to an understanding of their role as a reservoir for many viruses, which is of particular relevance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The publication is available at https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.22.110833v1

About Bionano Genomics
Bionano is a genome analysis company providing tools and services based on its Saphyr system to scientists and clinicians conducting genetic research and patient testing, and providing diagnostic testing for those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental disabilities through its Lineagen business. Bionano’s Saphyr system is a platform for ultra-sensitive and ultra-specific structural variation detection that enables researchers and clinicians to accelerate the search for new diagnostics and therapeutic targets and to streamline the study of changes in chromosomes, which is known as cytogenetics. The Saphyr system is comprised of an instrument, chip consumables, reagents and a suite of data analysis tools, and genome analysis services to provide access to data generated by the Saphyr system for researchers who prefer not to adopt the Saphyr system in their labs. Lineagen has been providing genetic testing services to families and their healthcare providers for over nine years and has performed over 65,000 tests for those with neurodevelopmental concerns. For more information, visit www.bionanogenomics.com or www.lineagen.com.

About the Genome 10K Organization and the Vertebrate Genomes Project
The Genome 10K Organization is a community of scientists dedicated to the preservation and understanding of genetic diversity in the animal species on our planet. They organize and facilitate projects, such as the Bat 1K, the Bird 10K, and their flagship, the Vertebrate Genomes Project, to sequence the genomes from as many animals as possible, while partnering with sister projects such as the Earth Biogenome Project, the Insect 5K (i5K), and the GIGA – Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance. Their goal is to assemble a genomic zoo that will live forever as a basis for the science and preservation of life. The Vertebrate Genomes Project (VGP) aims to generate near error-free reference genome assemblies of ~70,000 extant vertebrate species.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend” and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions or circumstances) convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes and are intended to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses or current expectations concerning, among other things, Bionano’s contribution to the generation of high-quality, complete reference genomes, future strategic plans by G10K and VGP, including plans involving our technology or data and Saphyr’s capabilities in comparison to other genome analysis technologies. Each of these forward-looking statements involves risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected or implied in these forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause such a difference include the risks and uncertainties associated with: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and the global economy; general market conditions; changes in the competitive landscape and the introduction of competitive products; changes in our strategic and commercial plans; our ability to obtain sufficient financing to fund our strategic plans and commercialization efforts; the loss of key members of management and our commercial team; and the risks and uncertainties associated with our business and financial condition in general, including the risks and uncertainties described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 and in other filings subsequently made by us with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made and are based on management's assumptions and estimates as of such date. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of the receipt of new information, the occurrence of future events or otherwise.

CONTACTS
Company Contact:
Erik Holmlin, CEO
Bionano Genomics, Inc.
+1 (858) 888-7610
eholmlin@bionanogenomics.com

Investor Relations Contact:
Ashley R. Robinson
LifeSci Advisors, LLC
+1 (617) 430-7577
arr@lifesciadvisors.com

Media Contact:
Darren Opland, PhD
+1 (617) 733-7668
darren@lifescicomms.com

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