A Basque biotechnology company, Progenika Biopharma, devoted to research and development in personalised medicine, has introduced a DNA biochip, known as BLOODchip, which greatly eliminates the risk of adverse reactions due to incompatibility in blood groups between donor and receptor in blood transfusions.
With the aim of guaranteeing safety during blood transfusions, Progenika has developed and validated 1,000 clinical samples in cooperation with the principal European blood banks. Concretely, the validation of these samples was 99.8%, considerably higher than that produced using the current serology technique, which produces an error of 3%.
Thus, BLOODchip is currently the safest and most precise technique for genetically determining blood groups, enabling the reduction of adverse reactions in blood transfusions.
Two different techniques are currently used to detect possible incompatibilities in blood transfusions: the serological method and DNA sequencing. The serological technique has a limited capacity and does not allow the detection of 3% of the incompatibilities existing. DNA sequencing, while overcoming this drawback of the serological method, is however a slow and costly system.
Progenika has developed BLOODchip to respond to the disadvantages of the current systems. In this way, the totality of blood group incompatibilities are detected in a safer, quicker and more specific analytical process than with the serological technique. Moreover, its cost is twenty times less than DNA sequencing, which enables its generalized and routine use in all blood transfusions.
The BLOODchip is the result of research within the remit of the European Union IV Framework Programme and undertaken by Progenika in collaboration with the principal European blood banks.
It should be pointed out that Progenika Biopharma has developed and patented various products that are already on the market for several types of diagnosis (for diagnoses, prognoses and the prediction of and response to treatment of human diseases). So, in 2004 Progenika launched the LIPOchip on to the market, for the diagnosis of Family Hypercholesterolemia, the first biochip with the CE label and on sale since 2004. Progenika currently has 3 products that are at a development phase and which will finalise at the end of the year.
Progenika has managed to become the international technological leader in the field of developing genetic biochips. Biochips enable the simultaneous analysis of genetic variables, multiplying the capacity of conventional techniques for the diagnosis of illness, prognosticating its aggressiveness and progression and predicting the response of the patient to treatment.
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