Agena Bioscience® in the News

Agena Bioscience Introduces the Hemo ID Panel for Blood Group Genotyping at the 33rd International Congress of the ISBT in Seoul, Korea

4 June 2014

Swiss Red Cross Study Recommends Replacing Kell, Kidd, Duffy Serotyping with Genotyping

San Diego, Calif., June 4, 2014/PRNewswire/ — Agena Bioscience, Inc., which recently acquired the Bioscience business of Sequenom, Inc., today, introduced the Hemo ID Blood Group Genotyping Panel for the MassARRAY® System following a Swiss Red Cross study using a beta version of the panel published in the journal Transfusion1. The study, which genotyped and serotyped more than 4,000 blood donors for the Kell, Kidd, and Duffy blood group systems, observed a concordance of more than 99% between serotyping and genotyping. Discrepancies were primarily a result of erroneous serologic profiles or, in three cases, newly observed silencing alleles.

The study’s authors concluded that “serotyping should be replaced by genotyping for donors’ blood groups encoded by KEL, SLC14A1, and DARC,” based on consideration of Agena Bioscience’s MassARRAY genotyping technology’s specificity, throughput, quality, and cost. Although a full cost-effectiveness study was not conducted, MassARRAY based genotyping was found to be “comparable to, or even lower in cost than, conventional serology.”

“Preventing potentially fatal alloimmunizations in a significant percentage of blood transfusion recipients requires assessment of blood group systems beyond ABO and RhD. Of these, the Kell, Kidd, and Duffy systems are the most clinically significant,” explained Dr. Christoph Gassner, the lead researcher on the study published in Transfusion and the Head of Research and Development at the Swiss Red Cross’ Blood Transfusion Service in Zurich, Switzerland.

“Our study conclusively shows that the MassARRAY System and our genotyping assay designs can correctly predict the Kell, Kidd, and Duffy blood groups for greater than 99% of all Swiss blood donors. The MassARRAY System’s open format even enabled us to discover some new silencing alleles found in less than 1% of our study population,” said Gassner. “The technology holds great potential for precision genotyping of frequent donors’ blood groups to ensure safe blood transfusions, particularly for recipients requiring continual transfusions.”

“The Blood Transfusion Service, Zurich and Agena Bioscience will continue to deepen this already productive collaboration by expanding our validation studies to other blood group systems, including the MNS system and other blood diseases,” said Dr. Beat Frey, Director of Hematology and Laboratory Medicine at the Swiss Red Cross’ Blood Transfusion Service in Zurich.

Agena Bioscience’s new research use only Hemo ID Blood Group Genotyping Panel is a DNA-based antigen typing technology for erythrocytes, platelets, and neutrophils. The panel generates predicted phenotypes for 23 platelet and neutrophil antigens as well as 101 antigens in 16 blood group systems (Kell-Kidd-Duffy, MNS, Rare Blood Groups, RHD- RHCE Broad, RHD Variant, and HPA & HNA). A unique RHD Broad module enables assignment of zero, one or two copies of RHD.

In 2013, the Swiss Red Cross scientists published in Transfusion Medicine Reviews its first study assessing the MassARRAY system’s reliability and sensitivity for blood group genotyping a wide range of blood groups, including many rhesus variants.

“The modular design of the Hemo ID Blood Group Genotyping Panel allows researchers to either run the comprehensive panel or to select from the six Hemo ID sub-panels. This flexibility enables the researchers to focus on the content of their interest and save both cost and time,” said John Lillig, the Chairman and interim CEO of Agena Bioscience. “The Hemo ID Panel is an important addition to our applications portfolio in a market segment that is primed to adopt DNA-based blood group typing as a powerful complement to traditional serotyping.”

The Hemo ID panel utilizes the MassARRAY Analyzer 4 MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer and the iPLEX® Pro chemistry for end-point PCR and single nucleotide extension and termination reactions. A modular format allows comprehensive or focused analyses of up to 3000 genomic DNA samples in eight hours.

For more information on the Hemo ID Blood Group Genotyping Panel, visit our Blood Typing page.



1 Meyer, S. et al. High-throughput Kell, Kidd, and Duffy matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization, time-of-flight mass spectrometry-based blood group genotyping of 4000 donors shows close to full concordance with serotyping and detects new alleles. Transfusion. (2014). doi:10.1111/trf.12715