Durham’s KaryoLogic Partners with French Firm for Stem Cell Testing

KaryoLogic, a karyotyping services company based in Durham, is teaming up with a French biotechnology company to test and analyze chromosomes in human stem cells.

The partnership with Stem Genomics of Montpellier, France, will allow KaryoLogic to offer a digital assay that can identify more than 90% of the most common genomic abnormalities found in human pluripotent stem cells, according to KaryoLogic.

KaryoLogic logo“The future of stem cells as manufactured biologics is promising,” said Elizabeth Gonzalez, founder and chief executive officer of KaryoLogic. “KaryoLogic and our new partner Stem Genomics are poised to be extremely influential in this realm.”   

The digital assay, based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, will help stem cell researchers detect chromosome defects that are beyond the resolution of a traditional testing method known as G-band karyotyping.    

Stem Genomics recently established a U.S. branch in Durham, co-located with KaryoLogic. to partner on the testing service.     

stemgenomics logoThe two companies will market their combined tests as a two-in-one solution called Duo iCS-Karyo. The service combines G-band karyotype analysis with the high-resolution of digital PCR, providing a “rigorous detection solution for testing the genomic integrity of human pluripotent stem cells,” according to KaryoLogic.

Researchers will also be able to order either of the tests as stand-alone services.

Karyotyping is the analysis of chromosomes, the thread-like structures in cells that carry DNA, the genetic information for building and maintaining a living organism. Karyotyping is used to help identify genetic defects that can cause diseases and disorders.

Gonzalez, who also is the company’s senior cytogeneticist, founded KaryoLogic in 2008 after two decades of working in clinical cytogenetics, university research and the genetic toxicology industry. She has a bachelor’s of science degree from Cornell University and a master’s of science degree from Rutgers University.

E. Gonzalez headshot
Elizabeth Gonzalez, KaryoLogic. 
-Photo from KaryoLogic

She began learning and working with the human karyotype -- the complete set of chromosomes -- in 1982, then mastered the more challenging mouse karyotype in 1992.

In addition to human and mouse karyotyping, KaryoLogic offers the service for pigs, cats, dogs, Chinese hamsters, rats, sheep and chickens, and is open to other species, based on clients’ needs.

Clients include university research labs, cancer research institutes, and companies and institutes involved in stem cell gene-editing, cell therapy and regenerative medicine. Most are domestic, but the company has also done business with clients from the United Kingdom, Israel, Switzerland, Austria and Hong Kong.

Test results are typically returned in one to two weeks. Couriers are available to pick up cell samples from clients in the Research Triangle area, while distant clients can ship cells overnight.

KaryoLogic has four employees, but the staff will likely grow as the partnership with Stem Genomics brings in new business, Gonzalez said.

Stem Genomics is a 2018 spin-out of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine & Biotherapy in Montpellier, France. The company, which specializes in the design of innovative testing technologies for stem cells, has over 150 clients worldwide including academic institutions, biotech companies and core facilities. U.S. clients include companies and laboratories such as Synthego and Harvard Stem Cell Institute.  

Barry Teater, NCBiotech Writer
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