On Wednesday, Bionano Genomics (BNGO) informed investors that “authors at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center” have published a study utilizing Bionano’s Saphyr optical genome mapping (OGM) system “as an alternative to traditional cytogenomic methods for the characterization of structural variation (SV) in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS),” a bone marrow disorder inhibiting the production of healthy blood cells, which can lead to leukemia.
Bionano seemed pretty pleased with the study, noting that it supported “the potential of optical genome mapping to become a single-platform cytogenetic tool for structural variant profiling in indications such as MDS,” and helped researchers to “see more variants in subjects at higher resolution… which has the potential to help drive better outcomes” for patients.
The results generated by Saphyr were apparently both “100% concordant” with (i.e. the results agreed with) results from traditional karyotyping methods. Moreover, both the speed at which results were obtained, and the resolution utilizing Saphyr “was much higher than conventional karyotyping (CK) and enabled precise mapping of SVs at gene-level,” thus generating more useful data for researchers. In particular, Bionano pointed out that Saphyr actually “identified 23 clinically significant SVs in 18% of the patients which eluded detection by CK.” As CEO Erik Holmlin argued, the study “illustrates the utility of OGM in a complex disorder.”
One analyst who agrees with Holmlin is Oppenheimer’s Kevin DeGeeter.
DeGeeter argues that Saphyr is already known to be faster than traditional methods of mapping genomes, but that this study suggests that Saphyr may be qualitatively “better” as well.
The ability of Saphyr to detect 18% more “clinically relevant SVs” bolsters that case, says the analyst. And DeGeeter predicts that when MD Anderson Dr. Rashmi Kanagal-Shamanna discusses the results at more length at an American Society of Hematology meeting on December 11, this will help to raise the profile of Saphyr (and of Bionano), and potentially attract new customers…