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WaferGen Announces Key Findings From Collaborators Utilizing Company’s ICELL8™ Single-Cell System at AGBT 2016 General Meeting

FREMONT, Calif., Feb. 17, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WaferGen Bio-systems (Nasdaq:WGBS), a life sciences tools company focused on developing and commercializing technology platforms for genomics solutions, announced today results from presenters who had early access to the company’s ICELL8™ Single-Cell System at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) 2016 General Meeting. Researchers from leading institutions focused on neuroscience, cancer, respiratory disease, and drug development, reported that ICELL8™ successfully isolated single cells from human tissues and tumors containing various cell sizes and cell types, making them accessible to Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) genomic analysis, for the first time, in some cases.

“The results presented by our early-access collaborators using the ICELL8™ Single-Cell System at the AGBT 2016 Meeting reinforce the superior performance and innovation the system provides to single-cell research,” said Maithreyan Srinivasan, Ph.D. Chief Technology Officer of WaferGen Bio-systems. “ICELL8™ has enabled new avenues of research to be conducted due to the system’s unique ability to process a variety of challenging cell types directly from human and animal samples ranging from cancer tumors to primary neurons from the brain, which have previously been inaccessible to single-cell genomics.”

In the poster, ICELL8 - A Versatile Single-Cell Processing System Using Nanowell Technology”, a collaboration between Dr. Nicholas Navin of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and WaferGen, the ICELL8™ system was used to successfully dispense and analyze nuclei isolated from a frozen patient tumor sample, a significant challenge given that cell membranes from frozen tumors are typically ruptured. Evaluating tissues at the single nuclei level provides a potential path to understanding cancer biology and enables the possibility of using frozen tumor repositories, which exist by the thousands in cancer hospitals, for medical research. In addition, in human-mouse mixed species experiments, WaferGen researchers determined that approximately 99% of the selected single-cell containing wells contained only one cell.

Oral presentations on studies utilizing the ICELL8™ Single-Cell System included:

Dr. Sten Linnarsson, Karolinska Institutet
Molecular Anatomy of the Mouse Brain by Single-Cell RNA-Seq

Researchers performed pilot studies on mouse brain regions with the aim of identifying the molecular anatomy of the entire brain. Utilizing the ICELL8™ System, researchers isolated and prepared thousands of single cells, recreating results from a previously published study from Dr. Linnarsson’s group of researchers. Based on this work, Dr. Linnarsson discussed the possibility of generating a complete molecular atlas of the brain.

“The ICELL8™ Single-Cell system was able to isolate cells over a two day period, which previously required months of work,” said Sten Linnarsson, Professor at Karolinska Institutet.

Dr. Max Seibold, National Jewish Health
Large-Scale Single-Cell Transcriptome Sequencing of the Human Airway Epithelium

In a study of human cultured airway epithelial cells (AECs) and in-vivo brushed airway epithelium cells, researchers generated single-cell expression profiles, including genes and cell markers of individual cells of all three types of AECs – basal, secretory and ciliated. The presentation highlighted results from a time course study performed in a single chip using over 1,700 single cells grown over a 95 day time period. The researchers were able to process up to 8 different samples or conditions on a single ICELL8™ chip, providing important insights into a multitude of pulmonary diseases, such as asthma.

Dr. Somasekar Seshagiri, Genentech
Comprehensive Analysis of Tumors at Whole Tissue to Single-Cell Level

Genentech researchers utilized ICELL8™ to analyze thousands of single cells from individuals with mesothelioma tumors, revealing new genomic information that helped classify the patients into four known subtypes of mesothelioma tumors, as well as identify gene expression differences among the tumor subtypes that could be potential drug discovery targets. In addition, at least 10 different cell types were successfully processed using the ICELL8™ system, demonstrating the system’s ability to handle multiple cell shapes and sizes.

About WaferGen
WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc. is a biotechnology company that offers innovative genomic technology solutions for single-cell analysis and clinical research. The ICELL8™ Single-Cell System can isolate thousands of single cells and processes specific cells for analysis, including Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). The system has demonstrated unbiased isolation, regardless of cell size, of up to 1,800 single cells, ranging from 5-100 µm in size on a single chip, and including single cells from solid tumors, brain cells, pulmonary airway cells, and multiple cell lines. The SmartChip™ platform can be used for profiling and validating molecular biomarkers, and can perform massively-parallel single-plex PCR for one-step target enrichment and library preparation for clinical NGS. The Apollo 324™ system can be used to process DNA and RNA from clinical samples to next generation sequencing ready libraries. These technologies offer a powerful set of tools for biological analysis at the molecular and single-cell level in the life sciences, pharmaceutical, and clinical laboratory industries.

Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended that are intended to be covered by the "safe harbor" created by those sections. Forward-looking statements, which are based on certain assumptions and describe our future plans, strategies and expectations, can generally be identified by the use of forward-looking terms such as "believe," "expect," "may," "will," "should," "could," "seek," "intend," "plan," "estimate," "anticipate" or other comparable terms. Forward-looking statements in this press release may address the following subjects among others: statements regarding the sufficiency of our capital resources, expected operating losses, expected revenues, expected expenses, expected cash usage, our expectations regarding our development of future products including single cell analysis technologies and our expectations concerning our competitive position and business strategy. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, as a result of various factors including those risks and uncertainties described in the Risk Factors and in Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations sections of our most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. We urge you to consider those risks and uncertainties in evaluating our forward-looking statements. We caution readers not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Except as otherwise required by the federal securities laws, we disclaim any obligation or undertaking to publicly release any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein (or elsewhere) to reflect any change in our expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

WAFERGEN CONTACTS: LifeSci Advisors, LLC Brian Ritchie BRitchie@LifeSciAdvisors.com WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc. Rollie Carlson Rollie.Carlson@wafergen.com

Source:WaferGen Bio-systems, Inc.