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Real Time Genomics Enters Agribusiness Sector

Real Time Genomics announces that Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) has licensed RTG Investigatorâ„¢ sequence analysis software for use in quantitative trait loci (QTL), gene discovery and marker assisted selection in bovine genomes.

December 11, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, California, December 6, 2011 --  Real Time Genomics, Inc., today announced that the Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) of New Zealand has signed a multi-year agreement to license RTG Investigator sequence analysis software for trait discovery in bovine genomes.  Through an Early Access Program (EAP) relationship with LIC, Real Time Genomics extended its Bayesian variant analysis software to include pedigree-aware variant calling of the bovine genome.  This announcement by Real Time Genomics signals the company’s intent to provide high quality variant analysis software suitable for animal studies in the agriculture biotechnology industry.


LIC sought advanced access to new bioinformatics application capabilities coming from Real Time Genomics, particularly it’s variant calling algorithm that uses pedigree data to improve variant detection.  As an essential partner in farm and food supply chains, expert in dairy production, LIC participates in a large scale bovine genome sequencing project sponsored by the New Zealand government that will sequence thousands of bulls over five years.  LIC licensed RTG Investigator from Real Time Genomics to support their efforts in this project.


“Trait discovery demands sensitive sequence analysis software that can quickly deliver high quality variant results,” said Dr. Richard Spellman, Research Leader Genomics at LIC.  “RTG Investigator dramatically expands our ability to categorize the underlying genetic differences in large groups of animals, and isolate specific traits that can enhance milk production.”


As in previous EAP relationships with leading edge scientific institutions such as VIB and The Genome Institute at Washington University at St. Louis, Real Time Genomics worked with LIC to jointly solve a difficult genomic analysis problem.  LIC had hundreds of bovine genomes (3 Gigabases in length) to compare and categorize.  They needed to implement a variant analysis pipeline that could quickly deliver high quality results.  Real Time Genomics had been developing a pedigree-aware family variant caller that performs joint calling of all members of a nuclear family (mother, father, and any number of sons and daughters) for use in human research studies.  Working with LIC, Real Time Genomics engineers extended the software to work with the bovine genome.


“This announcement with LIC signals the expansion of our business into the agribusiness sector,” said Phillip Whalen, CEO of Real Time Genomics.  “We are exceedingly pleased to be working in partnership with the extraordinary scientists at LIC on products that will certainly revolutionize the food chain as we know it.”


LIC selected RTG Investigator, a commercial bioinformatics software application, after a rigorous evaluation process.  The ultimate decision to license RTG Investigator was based on the product’s ability to quickly deliver high quality variant analysis results.  As a side benefit, the LIC bioinformatics team was surprised at how easy it was to install and run the software.  The bioinformaticist responsible for genomics data processing at LIC needed two months to set up a variant analysis pipeline with open source algorithms and software, and then process bovine genomes to deliver results.  When a staff biologist completed the same task with RTG Investigator, the biologist was able to install and run RTG Investigator on his own, and deliver results for comparison in two days.


LIC is a leader in the agribusiness sector providing new and innovative products and services to farmers in New Zealand and worldwide.  Industry leading products include premium, long-lasting bull semen, herd and record management, and herd testing.  LIC operates in New Zealand as a dairy farmer cooperative with an annual run rate of over $166M NZD in 2011.


RTG Investigator is available free to biological investigators and bioinformaticists for individual use.  Anyone starting a new project can get an immediate jump-start on pipeline development.  Researchers with existing pipelines can easily apply the additional sensitivity of RTG Investigator to extract premium value from current experiments or unblock investigations that require deeper analysis than existing tools can provide. Register for a free download at http://www.realtimegenomics.com/Downloads/Register.


Real Time Genomics (www.realtimegenomics.com) offers easy-to-operate sequence analysis software that delivers to genome center standards.  Patented and patent-pending algorithms provide unparalleled speed and sensitivity for variant detection and metagenomic analysis with Ion Torrent, Illumina, Complete Genomics and Roche 454 data sets.  Real Time Genomics is a private, San Francisco based company.

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