The University of Maryland Institute for Genome Sciences and OpGen Announce Collaboration to Develop Microbial Sequence Database

Gaithersburg, Md.—May 23, 2011— Today, at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Annual Meeting researchers at The University of Maryland Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS) and OpGen, Inc., a whole genome DNA analysis company, announced that they will collaborate to develop a database of high quality, finished, annotated microbial sequences. IGS will provide clinically characterized microbial samples and sequencing data from microbial genomics studies, including from the National Institutes of Health Human Microbiome Project (HMP) and the National Institutes of Health Genomic Sequencing Center for Infectious Diseases (GSCID) research. OpGen will provide optical maps and sequence finishing technology.

“Inclusion of optical mapping for the characterization of genomes will raise the standard of high quality genome sequence data and will be of extraordinary value given the unprecedented amount of next generation sequencing of clinically relevant organisms. We are using this technology for validation of our de novo sequencing projects, and anticipate that these will serve as an extraordinary set of reference organism templates to be used by the large number of resequencing efforts worldwide,” commented Claire Frasier-Liggett, PhD, Director of IGS and Professor Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Sequencing and sequence databases are becoming more important in microbiology research and clinical diagnostics. Having accurate sequence data in these databases is essential. While next generation sequencing technologies have enabled rapid and low cost access to sequence data, these technologies do not provide insight into the microbial genome architecture and often provide an incomplete or an inaccurate view of the complete microbial genome.

“The OpGen Optical Mapping System enables rapid, accurate assembly and analysis of DNA sequence data of the whole genome. We believe that our optical mapping whole genome analysis capabilities and bioinformatics products are a perfect complement to next generation sequencing for assembly and finishing. We look forward to working closely with IGS and Dr Frasier-Liggett’s group as we continue to advance the understanding of clinically relevant microorganisms in disease,” commented Doug White, CEO, OpGen, Inc.

About The Institute for Genome Sciences

The Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS), an international research center within the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) is led by Claire Fraser-Liggett, Ph.D. and a team of internationally recognized faculty. Comprised of an inter-disciplinary, multi-department team of investigators, the Institute uses the powerful tools of genomics and bioinformatics to understand genome function in health and disease, to study molecular and cellular networks in a variety of model systems, and to generate data and bioinformatics resources of value to the international scientific community. The scientific discoveries that are being made at IGS are helping to unravel the mysteries of biological systems and to improve healthcare for people around the world.

About OpGen, Inc.

OpGen, Inc. is a leading innovator in rapid, accurate genomic and DNA analysis systems and services. The company has developed a platform, The Argus™ Optical Mapping System and also offers MapIt™ Services that provide high resolution, whole genome restriction maps for sequence assembly and finishing, strain typing and comparative genomics in the life sciences market. This proprietary de novo technology is free from the limitations of gel, PCR and sequencing-based methodologies. Applications to expand Optical Mapping technology to large genomes and clinical diagnostics are currently in development. OpGen’s customers include leading genomic research centers, biodefense organizations, academic institutions, clinical research organizations and biotechnology companies. For more information, visit