RainDance Technologies, Inc., the Digital Biology™ company, announced a new Service Partner Program for its growing base of research customers who are developing next-generation sequencing-based genetic testing panels to identify and characterize inherited diseases, cancers and other human health conditions in research projects. Through this new program, customers have expanded access to RainDance’s ThunderStorm™ target enrichment solution, custom gene panel manufacturing capabilities and technical support services.

RainDance-manufactured gene panels provide researchers with a way to use single-plex PCR in picodroplets to target specific human genes or regions of interest. The ability to put single PCR reactions in droplets enables highly multiplexed panels with the sensitivity of single tests in a workflow that eliminates the need for the costly and time-consuming, repetitive testing of single biomarkers.

Among the first service provider partners to participate in the new program are Ambry Genetics, Emory Genetics Laboratory and Greenwood Genetic Center. Collectively, these leading research laboratories have developed more than 20 gene panels manufactured by RainDance for use in research to investigate colon cancer, cardiomyopathy, ciliopathies, congenital muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, hearing loss and autism spectrum disorders, among many others.

“RainDance’s ThunderStorm-based target enrichment solution has allowed us to rapidly expand the number of genetic panels we can offer for research projects using next-generation sequencing. Our CancerNext panel, for example, analyzes 22 genes that have been identified as contributors to increased risk for breast, colon, ovarian, uterine and other cancers,” said Ardy Arianpour, Vice President of Business Development at Ambry Genetics.

"The RainDance technology enables us to apply next-generation sequencing more routinely to panels focused on the specific genes that contribute to autism and other X-linked disorders," said Madhuri Hegde, Ph.D., FACMG, Executive Director of Emory Genetics Laboratory.

"Partnering with RainDance has been of tremendous benefit to the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory at the Greenwood Genetic Center," said Michael J. Friez, Ph.D., Director, Diagnostic Laboratories.

The ThunderStorm System is a fully automated, targeted sequencing solution for research use only that enables the comprehensive interrogation and accurate classification of all variations contained in any region of the genome. With walk-away capabilities for automatically processing up to 96 samples per run, the ThunderStorm System offers the industry’s highest on-target reads with lower costs and hands-on time when compared to current enrichment methods. Each panel is performed on HeatWave™ ThunderStorm Chips developed by RainDance in collaboration with Sony DADC.

“RainDance has invested years to perfect and bring to market single-molecule picodroplet PCR in its fully automated ThunderStorm system, and we are very proud of our collaborations with these world-class research laboratories that are designing novel and important disease-focused applications,” said Andy Watson, Chief Commercial Officer at RainDance. “The RainDance Service Partner Program will allow us to deepen our ongoing collaborations with this growing community of customers and raise awareness of how RainDance’s technology allows them to apply next-generation sequencing to a variety of devastating diseases.”

The ThunderStorm System is for Research Use Only and has not been approved for diagnostic procedures. All disease panels are designed by the service partners and manufactured by RainDance.

For more information about RainDance’s Service Partner Program and the gene testing panels being offered by its participants, please visit: