Meet GenDx at ASHI 2021

We are happy to announce that GenDx is supporting ASHI 2021 with a corporate sponsorship! The conference will be held this year from Monday, September 27 to Friday, October 1 and the participants will have the opportunity to attend physically or virtually.
Make sure to join us in our activities!

Teaching Session – FULLY BOOKED

September 27, 2021 9:00 am – 02:30 pm (EDT, Orlando time)

This year, we will hold this event virtually. The session will focus mostly on HLA typing by NGS.

More information and complete program here

Tulip Run

September 29, 6:00 am – 7:30 am (EDT, Orlando time zone)

Walk or run to this event, organized by GenDx, and join us on the common goal: enhancing the outcome of transplantation. The 5K Tulip Run will begin at 6:30am at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress.

Find photos from previous Tulip Run events here

User Group Meeting

September 30, 01:00 pm – 02:00 pm (EDT, Orlando time)
Speakers:

  • Pascal van der Weele PhD, Project Manager R&D at GenDx will talk about our latest development on Chimerism monitoring by NGS based on indels rather than SNPs and the accompanying software package: TRKengine.
  • Hanneke Merkens PhD, Associate Director Education at GenDx, will share exciting preliminary results of our platform comparison study where long read data from Pacbio and MinION are compared to short-read data; is long read sequencing becoming the new golden standard for HLA?
  • Maarten Penning PhD, Chief Technology Officer at GenDx will give an update on our newest multiplex strategy NGSgo-MX11-3; giving the highest possible quality data and highest possible ambiguity resolving power.

More information and the complete program of the UGM here

Virtual booth

September 27 – October 1, 09:00 am – 05:00 pm (EDT, Orlando time)

Stop by and say hi to your favorite representatives on our Virtual Booth!

Posters 

Our posters will be available online on the ASHI platform as well as on our online Virtual Booth.

  • NGStrack® performance and informativity analysis of 154 samples (Pascal van der Weele et al)
  • A multiplex whole gene HLA typing strategy evaluation on various platforms:
    both long reads (PacBio, ONT), and short reads (Illumina, Ion Torrent) (Diya Gao et al)

 

Looking forward to (e-) meeting you!
For more information and registration at ASHI, visit https://www.ashi-hla.org/

New NGSengine tutorials now available!

New NGSengine tutorial videos are now available on the GenDx website in the Education section. Are you a new NGSengine user and want to become familiar with the software? Or are you an experienced user in need of a refresher or some extra help? Watch our videos and become an NGSengine expert!

The videos include all the latest features of NGSengine, as well as updated graphics that make the videos easier to follow.

Enjoy!

Watch the new instructional videos

Interview with stem cell donor Gerben Cramer

Gerben Cramer is a 25-year-old student, currently enrolled in the master’s program ‘Public Sector Management’, and living in Leiden, The Netherlands.

In the summer of 2020, Gerben did something extraordinary: he donated his stem cells to an anonymous patient. We wanted to learn more about what it can be like to be a stem cell donor, and were happy to get in touch with Gerben. Enjoy reading!

When and why did you decide to register as a stem cell donor?
In January 2020, a good friend of mine sent a message in a group WhatsApp, sharing the story of a friend of his, who underwent a stem cell transplant as a treatment for leukemia. The road to receiving the transplant was a bumpy one, as the initial stem cell donor cancelled last minute. As a result, they had to consider finding an eligible donor within the family. The mother turned out to be the best fit, but given her age, it was a risky procedure. Fortunately, the transplant went well, and the patient survived. My friend concluded his story by saying: “Guys, please consider registering yourself as a stem cell donor, because my friend is luckily still alive, but there are still so many patients looking for a stem cell donor.” For me, this message was reason enough to sign up. I joined the registry the next day.

“For me, that message was reason enough to sign up. I joined the registry the next day.”

You were not registered for that long when you got the call?
Indeed! I was pretty surprised that Matchis reached out to me in March 2020. I did not expect to hear from them so quickly. They told me that it was indeed very unusual, but at that moment there was someone, somewhere in the world, in need of a stem cell transplant… and I was one of the five potential donors selected from the database. So then they examined my blood, and there was a more in-depth medical examination, questions about daily life, and my motivations. In the end, I turned out to be the best match for the patient.

What went through your mind when you heard that you were the best match?
Well, they asked me “Are you sure? Are you sure that you want to do this?”. I did not really understand the question, because I thought “Of course! There is a match, and I read that there’s only a 1 : 50.000 chance that you are selected as donor”. What was on top of mind for me, was that if I could help someone, I should do it. I found it amazing that I could do it, so I thought let’s go! Of course, I was also a bit nervous, but mostly I was grateful that I got to be the one to do this.

What do you think about the way you were informed about the procedure in general and the associated risks?
The guidance from Matchis was super good. They really took the time, checked in on how I was doing and how I felt about things, and were honest about the procedure and potential risks. Right from the start, a buddy from Matchis was assigned to me. I could really ask her anything, and she was there on the day of the transplant. That was really nice! They also arranged for a taxi to pick me up and get me back home. Everything is very well organized. Of course you are making an effort by being a donor, but still. It feels like a token of appreciation; they are happy that you are willing to do it.

Was there anything in particular that you were nervous about?
Yes, I was nervous about certain side effects. Personally, I was happy that my stem cells were taken from my blood, as there are less side effects associated with this method than donation via the bone marrow. But, in my opinion, the risk comes with the job, and I wanted to do the job.

Who decides whether stem cells are taken from blood or bone marrow?
You can indicate your preference, but eventually it is up to the patient’s doctor which method will be best for the patient. For example, for very small children, a stem cell transplant via the blood is more invasive than via the bone marrow. For older patients, the majority of transplant procedures are in the form of a blood transfusion.

What did the donation procedure look like? And how did you experience it?
72 hours before arriving at the hospital, you have to start with injecting a growth factor drug, to stimulate the body to make more stem cells. Someone from home health care (thuiszorg) came to my house to explain everything. The growth factors needed to be injected in my belly twice a day and fortunately my friends were willing to help me as it felt a little strange doing it myself at some point. Luckily, I did not experience too many unpleasant effects, whereas others do experience muscle and back pain. I was happy to start the donation relatively fit.

On donation day, 09.00AM, I arrived at the hospital. I took a seat, needles were injected in both arms, and then they started the transfusion; three rounds in total.

I found it a bit hard not to know the person for which I was doing this. It was someone, somewhere in the world, but that was all I knew; it remains anonymous. At some point during the day, they told me the patient’s gender and age. Also, I learned that the patient was on the heavier side, which meant that he needed more stem cells than the average person. So, it depends on how many stem cells are required for the patient whether the donation takes shorter or longer. For me, it took until 5.00PM.

My body had been working the whole day, and you basically ‘loose something’, so I was pretty exhausted.

“Only when I heard the good news about the patient doing well, it all felt more ‘real’ and personal. That’s when it really kicked in”

What was the donation like, on a more emotional level?
During the donation, I felt a little bit ‘distanced’ from the cause; you are laying there and at the end of the day, a courier comes along to pick up the stem cells. When I got back home, sitting on the couch, I really felt how tired I was. I could not tell too many people about the transplant, because of anonymity measures. Also, donor and patient can send each other a message, post donation, but that is all anonymous, so for all you know he might live as far away as Madagascar, or something. So, I just continued my life as normal, while I expected that what I just did would feel more special, but that was not really the case.

Only when I heard the good news about the patient doing well (6 months after the donation), it all felt more ‘real’ and personal. For me, it was at that exact moment that it ‘kicked in’. I do not mean this in an arrogant or selfish way, but I realized that the patient survived, because of MY stem cells. That felt so special.

“If I get the chance to make a difference again, I would do it. Without a doubt.”

Would you do it again? What if you turn out to be a good match for someone else in need?
Yes. Without a doubt! I have told my story to many others, hoping to inspire them to register as a stem cell donor as well, and if I get the chance to make a difference again, I would do it.

Let’s go!

Actually, after the donation, I was asked whether I would be willing to donate more stem cells or white blood cells for the patient, when needed. And of course I said ‘yes’. Typically, something like this would happen about 3 months after the donation. It didn’t happen eventually.

How long did the recovery process take for you?
Not that long, actually. Two days, max. But other than feeling tired, I did not experience any side effects. For the first 6 months after the donation, they make sure to check how you are doing on a monthly basis. After that, only every 6 months, and at a certain point it’s once a year. This way they can monitor whether there are any late side effects occurring after the donation. I definitely appreciate that they are checking in on me!

What would you like to say to people who are not sure if they want to become a potential stem cell donor? For example, people who are a bit scared of the procedure?
I can only speak from my own experience. I think it is most important to inform people, and I feel honored to be able to share my story and information on stem cell donation. Still, to be honest, sometimes I think: “Come on! There are patients, with leukemia for example, waiting for a stem cell donor. Just do it! You can potentially save a life!”… But even though I think everybody should sign up, everyone eventually has to make their own decision.

“The choice is yours, but actually you should just do it”

I really would like to say that the guidance from the Matchis foundation throughout the whole trajectory is absolutely superb. They are very professional and they really show their appreciation for the donors. I experienced that every nurse, every doctor, they all said “Thank you”, so I felt really valued. On the one hand, you are doing something really significant, and on the other hand, it is such a small effort… There is only a small chance that you are matched with a patient, but when you get the call, you can give a chance at life!

That is a beautiful conclusion. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Gerben!

———

Are you inspired to become a stem cell donor and give someone a chance to live? Go to www.GenDx.com/stem-cell-donation/ to learn more about how you can register.

 

 

 

Interview with two-time cancer survivor Frans Paymans

Frans Paymans (61) is a former professional soccer player and a two-time cancer survivor.

He got diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s mantle cell lymphoma in 2011. Back then, Frans was treated by means of his own stem cells. Unfortunately, the disease came back in 2016, and thanks to a match with someone from the stem cell donor registry, Frans was able to recover from the cancer. The battle was not over yet, due to graft-versus-host disease. This implies that donated cells (the graft) see the recipient’s cells (the host) as foreign and attack them; a reverse rejection so to say. Luckily, Frans fully recovered from this as well, and was able to go on. Nowadays, Frans is working as location manager on a school for special education. He is committed to keep raising awareness on the importance of stem cell donation, and associated topics.

“Eventually, it comes down to luck, and I have been extremely lucky!”

When were you diagnosed with cancer for the first time?
In 2010, I went to see a doctor after discovering a bump in my inguinal area. That turned out to be a swollen lymph node. In June 2011, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s mantle cell lymphoma, which is a relatively uncommon type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system and damaged about three-quarter of my bone marrow. By the end of July 2011, the treatment started at the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. The first stem cell transplant was on January 24th 2012, and those were my own stem cells.

Wait… what? Your own stem cells?
Yes, my own stem cells! It is called an ‘autologous’ stem cell transplant. The procedure is similar to when a donor goes through the donation process, involving growth factor drug injections to stimulate stem cell production. I first received chemotherapy, and that basically destroys your body, so I had just enough healthy stem cells that could be filtered out and collected by means of an apheresis machine. Eventually, your own stem cells are returned to the body through infusion. It cured me, but unfortunately the cancer came back completely in 2016.

What was the treatment like the second time around?
They went looking for a donor and, luckily, they found a very good match in the stem cell donor database; a young woman from the United States. Our blood group and HLA matched perfectly for the purpose of a stem cell transplant. Thanks to her donation, which was on October 10th 2016, I received the stem cells on October 11th 2016. I recently had my final check up with ‘my’ doctor. She and her team have been of unbelievable value. From now on, I only need to visit the outpatient department with longer intervals. They still need to monitor you, as there can potentially be residual effects from chemo, even after 10 years. Other than that, all is well.

How did you experience receiving stem cells from someone you do not even know?
I was pretty naïve at first, as I thought that getting stem cells was ‘as easy as buying a bread from the bakery’, but that turned out not to be the case… I was extremely lucky to match with a donor from the registry, and that donor is the reason I am sitting here, having this conversation with you, and the reason I can do everything I want to do.

And that’s why, a couple of years ago, when I was sitting on the top of a mountain in Norway, with my wife, I decided to share my story by publishing a book. A book about 60 years on this earth, and what it all meant to me and what it has brought me. And the ultimate goal was to donate part of the profits to Matchis and KWF Dutch Cancer Society.

The book is titled “It is a Competition” (Het is een Wedstrijd). What was it like to write that book? And, If I may say so, I get the feeling that to you, the battle has not yet ended…
It was a nice thing to do, but it was also very confronting, both regarding the period I was sick and the period prior to that. My main motivator to write this book was the thought of all those who do not live to tell about it.

And yes, on the one hand the battle is over, as last year I was able to leave quite some things behind me. All that’s left, is the possibility of residual effects from the chemo therapy that I had back in 2011. But, on the other hand, there is still a need to increase the chances for others to find their perfect match, that battle will never be over. I am committed to raise as much awareness about the topic as possible, and I really want to motivate people to register themselves as a stem cell donor at Matchis.

Looking back to the moment you just got the diagnosis. You told me that you did not know what you were up against at first. How did you cope with that? And what were your first experiences during treatment?
Well, my wife is a nurse and she pretty much knew what was coming, but initially, I had no idea what I was up against. After the diagnosis, driving back home in our car , there was an item on ‘Alpe D’HuZes’ on the radio. That was the first time I truly realized what that initiative was for, and that really hit me hard. When we got home, we first had a good cry. Then, the questions started coming: “What does this all mean? Am I going to survive this? Will I live to see my grandchildren?”. My wife and I met in 2010, and in June 2011 I got the diagnosis, so we had not been together for that long. We wrote down all our questions, and contacted my doctor, who was willing to discuss everything we wanted to know. What I really appreciated, is that she was transparent and straightforward.

At some point, after chemo started, I woke up looking at my pillow covered with plucks of hair that had fallen out. I realized at that moment that this was a first tangible result of the chemo. I had a couple of outpatient treatments, but at some point I was in the hospital for about 78 days, divided over 3 hospital admissions. Both the treatment and recovering from the treatment was, to put it mildly, not always the most pleasant experience. Basically, all that’s left is a body with a beating heart. You feel exhausted. You do not have any energy to do anything, not even to take a shower in the morning.

“Basically, after chemo, all that’s left is a body with a beating heart. You feel exhausted.”

Would you say that your athlete mentality benefited you throughout the whole trajectory?
Yes, I definitely think that my love for sports helped me back then, and that motivated me to get on the home trainer at least 2 and sometimes 3 times per day, for about 15-20 minutes. I did this to keep myself busy, but was also hoping it would contribute to my recovery. Still, eventually it comes down to luck, and I have been extremely lucky.

Actually, around the time I got my first treatment, in 2011, they started with research regarding the effects of working out prior to cancer treatment. I believe that nowadays, health insurances are covering costs for personal training for people who need to get treatment so they will start at a higher fitness baseline. So, that is a beautiful development, if you ask me.

What else helped you to get through the treatment and recovery?
My wife. She was there for me. You really need that ‘second person’ to be there during meetings with the doctor, as you are only able to process half of what they are telling you. The role of the partner is extremely important, and sometimes even underexposed. Imagine what they are going through: keeping their day to day life running, commute to and from the hospital, worrying about you and going to bed alone, scared that you might not be there anymore when they wake up the next day…  That is extremely hard and I think there should be more awareness about this as well.

Also, what I remember very vividly, is something that happened in 2012, when I was doing extremely unwell. My old soccer team, N.E.C. Nijmegen, played against my favorite soccer team, Feyenoord. There was a gigantic banner, put up by the crowd in the stadium, that said: “Frans, keep fighting” along with a huge painting of my face. It touched me deeply. I got so many messages after that. The original banner is completely weathered by now. To my surprise, the boys who made the original banner gifted me a small replica, on canvas, a short while ago. That was heartwarming.

I learned that it is possible to send an anonymous letter to the donor. Did you do that?
Not yet… it did cross our minds many times already, but it wasn’t the right time. In October 2021, it will be exactly 5 years ago that I got the stem cell transplant, so we are planning to send the letter then. A short while ago, during the “Stamweek”, I got the chance to read out loud part of the letter to my donor, live on radio station 3FM. That was very special.
The people from Matchis and the Radboud UMC stem cell consultants will be translating the final letter for me, and make sure there is no information in it that can be traced back to me. They will then send the letter to my donor.

Why did you decide to wait for the five year mark?
Things can still go wrong. And for me, it did. When I was finally cured from cancer, I got graft versus host disease, which made me very sick – it felt like I died a few times. Fortunately, after a lot of research, they were able to cure me from that. So, that also confirmed that waiting for that so-called ‘magical’ five year mark before contacting the donor, was a good decision.

“I did not have any control over my own body. I felt desperate and powerless.”

That must have been real hard, to get so sick after healing from cancer…
I did not have any control over my own body. It mainly affected my gut and later on also my skin.  I felt desperate and powerless. I was extremely dehydrated, and I had random blackouts that I did not even consciously experience. It was horrible. Fortunately, I fully recovered and can now enjoy the outdoors, biking and walking again.

To conclude, what would you like to say to people who are considering to become a stem cell donor, or who are still hesitating?
The beauty of this day and age, is that most of stem cell donations are taken via blood. In only a small proportion of donations, stem cells are taken from bone marrow. Most people can donate via blood, which involves growth factor drug injections, followed by harvesting by means of the apheresis machine. This procedure typically comes with mild, flu-like side effects that last only a couple of days. Then it is gone. So, if you are willing to pay that relatively small price, to really make a difference for a patient in need of a stem cell transplant, please… do not miss out on that opportunity! There are so many people who deserve it, just as I was lucky enough to receive stem cells from that young woman in the US. To all young men and women: let’s go, come on, please, join the registry!

——-

We thank Frans for taking the time to meet with us, and hope that you are as impressed with his story as we are. If you want to read Frans’ full story, you can go to his website: www.franspaymans.nl.

Are you inspired to become a stem cell donor and give someone a chance to live? Go to www.GenDx.com/stem-cell-donation/ to learn more about how you can register.

 

 

 

 

Release NGSengine 2.22.0

NGSengine has been updated!

We have released the new version of our NGSengine software. Version 2.22.0 includes several new features and improvements, and the latest IMGT/HLA database 3.44.1.

Some important new features

  • Analysis of NGSgo®-MX6-1 and long-read alignment have been significantly improved.
  • IMGT/HLA database 3.44.1 is included and selected by default.
  • Improved the security of user credentials.
  • All unpublished splice sites are extrapolated with the common nucleotides, which was not the case for DPB1, DPB2 and HLA-H. This will allow easier identification of new splice site variants and putative null alleles.
  • At the locus analysis preferences, the “Set all loci like HLA-A” button is changed into a “Set all locus like selected locus” button.
  • The name of the saved PDF report is automatically based on the scope (project/ group/ sample/ locus).

Update now!

Make sure to update your software to the latest version to have access to the new features and the latest database. For a complete overview of all new updates, please check the release certificate.

Download Software update

Download Release certificate

Tulip Run donation to Beatson Cancer Charity

£2.029 cheque handed to Beachon Cancer Charity

Thanks to the contributions of the participants of the #EFI2021 virtual Tulip Run and the multiplication from GenDx, EFI president Ann-Margaret Little and her colleague Helen McFarlane were able to hand over a cheque of £2.029 to the Beatson Cancer Charity in Glasgow. COVID restrictions caused a delay in the in-person handover, but happily, it could be realized now.

Grateful thanks to everyone who contributed!

Maisie McCormick, Community Fundraising Manager at Beatson Cancer Charity mentioned: “On behalf of everyone at Beatson Cancer Charity, thank you for your kind and generous donation of £2,096.79 raised through this year’s Tulip Run. What an incredible donation – it just goes to show how your generous clients and contacts used their initiative and got out to do their run wherever they were, despite not being with others. We are thrilled at having received such a fantastic donation. Please pass on our grateful thanks to everyone who contributed in some way. Thanks to your support we can continue to invest in services, staff, research, and education to provide a better future for those affected by cancer”. 

 

Thank you all for your support and looking forward to meeting you at the next Tulip Run event!

 

 

 

NGSgo®-MX11-3 registered as CE-marked IVD

GenDx has registered NGSgo®-MX11-3 as CE-marked IVD

The product can now be used for accurate HLA typing of donors and patients in need of organ or stem cell transplantation. The approval of NGSgo-MX11-3 completes the series of our CE-marked IVD amplification products, including a singleplex (NGSgo®-AmpX v2) and a six-gene multiplex (NGSgo®-MX6-1) strategy for HLA typing by Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS). All amplification products can be used in combination with the recently CE-marked IVD Library Full Kit for indexing, library preparation, and cleanup.

NGSgo-MX11-3
NGSgo-MX11-3 consists of amplification primers for eleven HLA genes (HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1, -DQB1 and -DPB1, DRB3/4/5, DQA1, and DPA1). The three-tube design results in low noise levels and well-balanced alleles, providing similar high-quality data with the 11-loci multiplex compared to the singleplex strategy.

Dr. Wietse Mulder, CEO of GenDx, commented: “We are proud to now offer the NGSgo-MX11-3 multiplex amplification for diagnostic use, and we are convinced this innovative product will accelerate the demand for high-quality multiplex data for stem cell transplantation

Read the complete press release here

BLOG: Discover our DNA

Discover the DNA of… Andres Rondon!

GenDx is a global leader in molecular diagnostics and develops innovative products for HLA typing and chimerism monitoring. Our team consists of specialists, strategists, technicians, developers and creatives, all with different competences but with the same drive: to advance the field by offering excellent molecular diagnostic tools and sharing knowledge. In our blog Discover our DNA, we like to introduce you to the people behind GenDx. This time we are happy to introduce our colleague: Andres Rondon.

Andres in a few words
Reliable, flexible, personable, jubilant

What position do you fulfill?
I’m a Sales & Application Specialist covering the northeast territory in the United States. In this role, I’m responsible for directing and managing all activities involving sales in my territory. Typical tasks include providing presentations, demonstrations, training, and sales support from beginning to end of the sales process.

What motivates you in your work?
I love being at the forefront of the amazing technologies in the HLA field. Because of the sales and technical aspects of my position, I need to not only be an expert on GenDx products, but I also need to stay up-to-date with competitors and their products. I embrace the learning process and have a strong passion for sharing my knowledge with the field.

What achievement are you most proud of (work related)?
Prior to joining GenDx I worked in HLA labs for seven years, and making the transition to a sales role was a bit intimidating. I have now been with the company for four months, and I’ve successfully carried out a few demos, presentations, webinars, and even acquired a new customer! I’m grateful for my success so far, and for the help from my colleagues

What is your passion, besides your work at GenDx?
My passion and motivation is my family – I am a family man. Some of my friends call me “daddy daycare.” Most of my time outside of work is consumed by my family, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have a 13-year-old son who is very athletic and intelligent, a 12-year-old artsy step-daughter, the most personable two-year-old son, and a beautiful one-year-old girl. They all keep me very busy between baseball games, soccer, swimming class, school and other activities. I’m lucky to call my wife my best friend, who is also an excellent mother to my children and is carrying the newest addition to the family expected July 21, 2021. Together, we all enjoy eating various cuisines, traveling, and spending time at the beach.

What do people probably don’t know about you?|
I’m very free-spirited, to a degree, and a “jack of all trades.” I like to go with the flow and embrace spontaneity. Sometimes I like to hop on my motorcycle and ride aimlessly. I bartended for a few years at restaurants and nightclubs, and built custom farm tables in my spare time. I was always taught to work hard, so after college I generally always maintained two or three jobs until recently. I’m intrigued by real estate and currently own a couple of properties. One of my goals outside of my career is to keep investing in real estate and expanding my portfolio.

HistoTrac now fully compatible with NGSengine

Starting from NGSengine version 2.20, the software reports the Bw4/6 status of HLA-B alleles (based on the ALLAN tool*) in the overview, genotype ranking, TARR export, and the PDF report.

We are happy to announce that HistoTrac now accepts the tarr file as input and thus labs are able to transfer the Bw4/6 assignments directly into NGSengine.  In addition, making use of the conclusive typing feature is now compatible with the import as well as the transfer of NMDP codes, if there are ambiguous typings.

 

Interested?

Contact HistoTrac today to have your module updated so you can make use of this feature.

 

*Kaur N, Kransdorf EP, Pando MJ, Maiers M, Ray B, Lee J-H, Lalli P, Murphey CL, Bray RA, Gragert L. Mapping molecular HLA typing data to UNOS equivalents. Human Immunology. 2018: doi.or/10.1016/j.humimm.2018.08.002

 

BLOG: Discover our DNA

Discover the DNA of… Boudewijn Erasmus

GenDx is a global leader in molecular diagnostics for matching stem cell transplant patients with donors, and monitor success of transplantation. Our team consists of specialists, strategists, technicians, developers and creatives, all with different competences but with the same drive: to improve the quality of life of transplant patients worldwide. In our blog Discover our DNA, we like to introduce you to the people behind GenDx. This time we are happy to introduce our colleague:  Boudewijn Erasmus

Boudewijn in a few words
Dedicated, empathetic, analytical, sportive, realist

What position do you fulfill?
Chief Marketing Officer.
As Chief Marketing Officer I’m responsible for all communication and marketing activities of GenDx. Together with my colleagues Maria, Inge and Manon, we are working daily on actions related to new or existing products and supporting activities. This is visualized by brochures, presentations, mailings, many other documents, website and social media channels. Especially Covid-19 has helped to become extra creative and strengthened the digital approach.

Additionally, we often receive a bunch of ad hoc requests to create specific materials or support other teams within GenDx, e.g. product or price information, adapted manuals or registration related documentation. We are present at many congresses, of which the EFI in Europe and ASHI in North America are the most important and biggest immunology meetings to prepare for. Usually 4 to 6 months ahead, we already start with the arrangements for our presence and characteristic activities of GenDx. Most of you will recognize our Trainings, Satellite Symposium and the Tulip Run, all part of an intensive four-day scientific and active congress program.

What motivates you in your work?
This is actually twofold: contribute to the improvement of healthcare and transplantation, offering the patient the best treatment available, as is our mission. Secondly, translate research results into commercial market opportunities and brand strategies. I consider it as an elegant way to get new research and new activities financed. The versatility of my daily work is the main driver. I like the challenge working with different teams and the wide diversity of tasks and creative ideas.

What achievement are you most proud of (work related)?
Working over 6 years at GenDx, I’ve experienced consecutive steps of development from a startup-like environment to a scale up status. Also our market approach is more defined and regulated with better controlled business cycles. Our way of working within Marketing has been strongly aligned with teams of Sales, Education and Support, but also R&D. Representation outwards has been enhanced and I’m proud that we are still one of the strongest players in this niche market of molecular diagnostics. And also thanks to COVID, my team worked hard on professionalizing digital presence and communication via our website, social media, movies, webinars and congresses.

What is your passion, besides your work at GenDx?
Definitely my family. We have two children, Rosanne and Constantijn. Our weekly job is watching their field hockey competition, or I play my own match with my senior team. Of course back on track when COVID-19 is under control again! Funny to mention is all four of us were, one still is, students at the Wageningen University & Research (WUR).

I love to sail, especially on the sea. Recently I bought a sailing yacht with two friends and we try to go as frequent as possible. Comparable to marketing, I like the versatility of required skills: strategic sailing expertise, knowledge of navigation, tides, metrology and teamwork to decide on the optimal route. And last but not least, travelling. Roaming around with a motorhome has become our favourite way of exploring the USA and Canada, which we did over 5 times in the last decade.

What do people probably don’t know about you?
Most of my colleagues will now think of my weekly dip in ice cubes, but here I would like to mention our foster child being with us a long weekend per month. Although we had in mind to initiate it when our children were young, we accidently got a chance two years ago when this boy was born. Cycling together is big fun and very social as he greets everyone he meets along the way! Offering another child the same opportunities as our children is our modest contribution to improve the world, which hopefully improves and broadens his chances for the future.

BLOG: Together to the Top: the first training

In this blog, we follow the journey of our colleagues Stefan Timmerman and Henk van Laar in their preparations for the cycling event the Transplantoux in September 2022. This cycling event is initiated by the Give&Live cycling club, and all participants are either donor, organ- or stem cell recipient, or working in the field of transplantation. GenDx sponsors the event and Henk and Stefan are the lucky GenDx representatives to join the Give&Live cycling club in their climb to the peak of the Mont Ventoux. 

June 5, 2021

Today, Saturday June 5, we have the first training event of this year ,taking place at the Holterberg. The group of participants gathered at 09:30 am, ready for a day of cycling and socializing! It was perfect day for cycling; cloudy, nice temperature and dry weather. But before we started, time for a cup of coffee and a lunch.
After an introduction of all participants (approximately 30 in total), it was clear that meeting and supporting each other was the most important goal of today. The group was very diverse; there were organ- and stem cell recipients, donors, medical staff from UMCG and even family members of people who passed away due to the unavailability of a donor. You can imagine that the stories of family, friends and the people who have received an organ were impressive to hear. They all seem to value life more consciously, while at the same time they are extremely aware of the vulnerability of their health.

Around 10:30 am it was time to start cycling! Some people who have received a new organ turned out to be extremely good at cycling, while others had the feeling that they have to learn cycling all over again. That is where we, Henk and Stefan, come in. As cycling buddy, it will be our task to support those who have difficulties climbing the mountain. This will be a humble task for us to accomplish.

The training ended at 3:00 pm. On our way back home, we both concluded that it was a great experience to meet everybody and listen to their personal stories.  Through this experience we realized more than ever why we are doing our utmost best to provide our customers with the best products and software: to ultimately improve the life and survival rate of transplant patients.

Henk & Stefan

 

Interview with three-time leukemia survivor Tom Barendregt

For those who have faced a deadly disease such as leukemia, it seems like life has been divided into ‘before’ and ‘after’. When you are on the waiting list for a stem cell transplant, you just have to wait and hope a suitable donor will be found. We got to interview leukemia survivor Tom Barendregt (22) about successfully battling this violent disease not once, not twice, but three times. Read more about Tom’s first-hand experience in receiving a stem cell transplantation and his understanding of how crucial it is to have strong spirit during such uncertain times.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself. What is your life like and how did you get diagnosed with leukemia for the first time?
Before I got diagnosed with leukemia, I played ice hockey on a professional level. On the age of fourteen I already got my first professional contract in the first division of the Netherlands. When I was fifteen, I transferred to the Colorado Thunderbirds in Denver in the United States. I played here for one year, but due to compulsory education, I had to move back to the Netherlands to finish school. While finishing school I played in the Dutch first division again. From the moment I finished school I moved back to the US to play in the USHL, the highest league in the world for guys until the age of 21. Just before the start of the season I started to get weird symptoms like extreme tiredness, bruises on my body and pain in my lower back. I visited multiple doctors and tried different therapies, but nothing seemed to help. I decided to go to the hospital where they took a blood sample. They immediately diagnosed me with leukemia, a disease I had never heard about before. My suggestion was to give me some medication so that I could start the ice hockey season. But when they told me that the leukemia was in a very far stage and that one ice hockey puck to my body could be life threatening, I realized that it was very serious. Instead of starting the ice hockey season, I ended up in the hospital to start chemotherapy. The start of another type of top sport: fighting leukemia.

“I ended up in the hospital to start chemotherapy. The start of another type of top sport: fighting leukemia.”

So when you got diagnosed with leukemia, you were all alone in a foreign country?
Yes, that’s right. The only people that were around at that moment were my host family and my former girlfriend, who was about to start her study in Madison. Since the leukemia was already in a very far stage, it was too risky to fly me back to the Netherlands for treatment. One day after the diagnosis, I was hospitalized in the University Hospital in Madison and my father and the father of my former girlfriend travelled to the US to support me in the process.

Can you tell us something about what you have been going through from the moment you started treatment?
Before I started treatment, I was confronted with the message that the treatment would pose a high risk for infertility. I was 17 years old at that time, so I wasn’t thinking of having children at all. However, to be prepared for a potential wish for children in the future, I was sent into a room with a plastic jar and a playboy magazine. Then we started the induction phase, which is 30 days of chemotherapy. After one week I got a severe allergic reaction that nearly killed me. For the remaining 3-4 weeks they switched to intramuscular chemotherapy, which is given as injection into a muscle. I had many bone marrow punctures and lumbar punctures to see if there was cancer in my brain. Luckily there were no cancer cells in my brain, but they injected chemo there anyway for preventive reasons. After all, leukemia can hide anywhere.

“Leukemia can hide anywhere”

How long did it take until a suitable donor was found and you actually got a transplant?
There are multiple ways to fight leukemia, a stem cell transplantation is not always part of it. In my case, they decided on a treatment without a stem cell transplantation at first, so only chemotherapy and steroids. Four months after my diagnosis, they recognized that my leukemia was pretty aggressive and they therefore decided to change the method and continue with a stem cell transplantation. I consider myself lucky that I quickly matched with multiple donors in the database. When you are more racially mixed, it gets more complicated to find a donor and it often takes months or even years. Time you don’t have when you suffer from a life threatening disease like leukemia. Before you start with the stem cell transplantation, you receive treatment to destroy the cancer cells, your own bone marrow cells, and immune cells. So your body is quite destroyed. Then you get a transplant.

“I consider myself lucky that I quickly matched with multiple donors in the database”

How long did the recovery take place
From the moment you receive the stem cells, you are far from done. First of all you are monitored regularly to measure the effectiveness of the transplantation. In my case, I had pretty severe graft-versus-host symptoms, meaning that the donor T cells were attacking my healthy cells.
After approximately 9 days, they saw that it was starting to work. Exactly two weeks after I got my transplant I left the hospital. This was extremely fast, because normally you’re there for 6-8 weeks. After 3 months they did a bone marrow puncture to check how much of the bone marrow was now from the donor.
The whole transplantation and coping with its side effects took me an additional 7-9 months. And like I said, even when they don’t see the leukemia anymore, it can always come back.

And it did come back… twice.
How did the second and third treatment compare to what you had been through already? Did it start all over again, or was it different from the first time?
With my second diagnosis they suggested a new treatment method called CAR-T therapy. In CAR-T, T-cells are taken from your blood and modified in the lab by adding a man-made receptor. This receptor helps to identify the bad cells.
The third treatment was comparable with my first since I had a stem cell transplantation. In principle these treatments were pretty much the same, the main difference was that with the third treatment they used immunotherapy instead of chemotherapy. Immunotherapy is a relatively new cancer treatment that boosts the immune response in the body as well as teach the immune system how to identify and destroy cancer. The reason why they tried this different method is because there were mutated leukemic cells hiding in my testicle. Since these mutated cells had another genetic code (CD22), it was not recognized by the CD19 CAR-T cells.
An interesting fact is that both with the second and third diagnosis, the leukemic cells were hiding in my testicles. More and more research shows that this is a very common place for the cells to hide in a men’s body, therefore radiation on the testicles is included in the standard treatment procedure in the US. Upon my last treatment, I had twelve radiation sessions on my testicles just before the transplantation. This was to minimize the chance that leukemic cells were able to hide there again.

Your third fight against leukemia was during the first months of COVID-19. Since your immune system was (about to be) killed by chemo, were you afraid that COVID-19 could get to you? |
When you are in the process of radiation and stem cell transplantation, a cold is already dangerous to you. So you are very careful, whether there is a pandemic or not. At that time, the lockdown was in effect and the only main difference I experienced was that the visitor schedule in the hospital was heavily regulated. I therefore took a flat screen TV with PlayStation and some dumbbells with me to the hospital to keep myself busy. After the transplantation it was easier to go outside, since it was very quiet on the streets and everyone kept their distance.
Since acute leukemia is life-threatening, unlike other less life-threatening diseases, they didn’t postpone my treatment and transplantation. Because of the pandemic, it did take a bit longer to transport the stem cells from my donor in Germany to the Netherlands.

You have beaten leukemia three times now. After so many times, how do you stay positive?
I think the most important thing is that I put everything in perspective. When I think of everything I have been through and the fact that I nearly faced death, every day that I am not ill is a good day. Nowadays, I only put effort in the things I like to do and invest in the persons I like to have around me. I enjoy life to the fullest. By eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, I make sure my body is ready for any battle to come.

“I focused on the things I could control, and let go of what I couldn’t”

What would you say to someone who is  at the start of the fight against leukemia or another type of cancer?
It is hard to accept that you don’t have control over the way your body is dealing with the disease and whether your will survive or not. What helped me a lot was to focus on the things I could control, and let go of what I couldn’t control. For me this meant that good nutrition and exercise was more important than ever and I focused on gaining knowledge about the disease so that I could join the conversation and be involved in the decision-making process. Being in control over the things you can control also gives you peace. In case you would die, you would at least know that you did everything within your power.
Another thing that I would recommend is to focus on the people that you really care about. When you are diagnosed with leukemia or any other life-threatening disease, you get a lot of attention most of the time. Instead of investing in all these people, focus on the ones you rely on and care about the most.
It might also help to get in touch with fellow sufferers since they truly understand what you are going through.

Last question: were you able to play ice hockey on a professional level again?
The thing is that you have a higher chance on playing ice hockey on a professional level when you perform well in a junior hockey league between the age of 18-21. I was treated for leukemia at that time, therefore I have a slighter chance to get a contract in the US. Playing ice hockey in the first division of the Netherlands might be a possibility, however this is not the level I used to play so then it would be more like a hobby.
Therefore, I am focusing on other things at the moment. I get a lot of energy from motivational speaking and being an entrepreneur, working on healthy food products in cooperation with an American company. I just enjoy life to the fullest and focus on the things that make me happy!

Thank you Tom, for the inspirational story! It is really admirable how positive you are. We wish you all the best for the future!

Do you want to learn more about stem cell donation and how you can join the registry?
Click here for more information and registration.

GenDx at ASHI Regional Education Workshop

ASHI Regional Education Workshop will take place fully virtually on Friday June 4 and Friday, June 11, 2021. Will you attend the workshop as well?

Innovative Technology Talk
Join our Innovative Tech Talk on June 4, 2021 at 4:15 pm (EDT) to be updated about our Multiplex product for HLA Typing: NGSgo MX11-3 and our Chimerism by NGS products: NGStrack® and TRKengine®. Andrea Zimmerman MSc, Associate Director Sales & Education North America, is happy to answer any questions you might have in the subsequent live Q&A.

Say ‘HI’ to your favorite Application Specialists!
Meet our Application Specialists at the ASHI Regional Education Workshop! You can join them in our virtual meeting room at any time during the workshop or send a chat message to get in touch. We look forward to e-meeting you!

Start a meeting!


Explore our booth
Our 3D booth is ready to be explored by you!

  • Check our product presentations
  • Find online brochures
  • Explore NGSengine by video
  • Educate yourself by our  prerecorded webinars
  • Join our quiz & win!
  • Chat with our application specialists

Access our booth via the  e-Conference platform or directly via meet.gendx.com

Let’s connect at the ASHI Regionals. See you there!

EFI Satellite Symposium: Excellence in sharing – watch the recording

The topic of this year’s Satellite symposium at the EFI virtual event was Improving transplantation success by NGS-based chimerism monitoring & genotyping beyond classical HLA genes. Many of you watched the prerecorded session and showed a lot of interest in our topics, thank you for that!

For those who have missed it, you can now watch the video here:

 

Program of Satellite symposium – Excellence in sharing:

  • The role of MICA  and MICB in transplantation – Seiamak Bahram MD PhD, Professor of Medicine (Immunology)
  • Clinical relevance of molecular markers in hemato-oncology – Lisette van de Corput PhD, Medical Immunologist at UMC Utrecht
  • Chimerism monitoring by NGS: NGStrack & TKRengine – Pascal van der Weele PhD, Project Manager at GenDx
  • New developments – Maarten Penning PhD, CTO GenDx

Chaired by Wietse Mulder PhD, CEO at GenDx

 

If you have any questions, feel free to reach us at marketing@gendx.com.

BLOG: Discover our DNA

Discover the DNA of… Hannah Monsuur

GenDx is a global leader in molecular diagnostics for matching stem cell transplant patients with donors, and monitor success of transplantation. Our team consists of specialists, strategists, technicians, developers and creatives, all with different competences but with the same drive: to improve the quality of life of transplant patients worldwide. In our blog Discover our DNA, we like to introduce you to the people behind GenDx. This time we are happy to introduce our colleague:  Hannah Monsuur

Hannah in a few words
Caring, creative, friendly, good-humored

What position do you fulfill?
Technical Support & Education specialist
I help our customers by answering their technical questions, ranging from troubleshooting laboratory practices to NGS data analysis. Together with the rest of the technical support team I am also responsible for communicating customer needs within the organization. A big part of my work is providing education, either by providing extensive answers to support questions or by actively reaching out through webinars and training courses.

What motivates you in your work?
When you put in a lot of effort writing down an educational answer to a customer’s question and then receive their feedback which shows they grasped the concept, that is really satisfying.

What achievement are you most proud of (work related)?
Our biggest challenge last year was to get everything going despite the pandemic. Normally we host training events at our office and at the EFI/ASHI conferences. Due to COVID-19, these had to be replaced by online alternatives so we could keep training our customers and sharing our knowledge. We started this new challenge by hosting a series of webinars to replace the teaching session of the cancelled EFI conference. We increased the frequency of the webinars and then noticed that more and more people were joining  on a regular basis. The training courses, which normally included training in the lab, were replaced by online training events with videos to demonstrate the workflow in the lab. We have also been working on new training materials. I am proud of the Support and the Education team for being able to improve our services over the past year, despite the pandemic. When it is possible we would of course like to see everyone in real life again!

What is your passion, besides your work at GenDx?
Outside of work I enjoy going to the zoo with my niece or nephew, spending time in the garden watching my rabbits make funny jumps, going to a museum, having drinks with people; basically all kinds of activities with my family, friends and colleagues. Another thing I love to do is travelling. I have many good memories of faraway travels, but the past year I have also really enjoyed exploring our own little country, there is still so much to see!

What do people probably don’t know about you?
Since my work and also my personality cause me to be ‘inside my head’ a lot of the time, I like to counteract that. Over the years I have participated in painting classes, figure drawing classes, a French language course and pottery classes. Also swimming, cycling and practicing yoga keep me from thinking too much and bring me in the here and now.

Collaboration GenDx and University Museum Utrecht

This week a collaboration agreement was signed between GenDx and the University Museum Utrecht (UMU). The financial contribution of GenDx will be used to realize the redesign of the museum.

— Persbericht ————————————————————————————-

Samenwerking GenDx en Universiteitsmuseum Utrecht

Het Universiteitsmuseum Utrecht (UMU) vormt sinds jaar en dag dé plek waar samenleving
en wetenschap elkaar ontmoeten. En met succes: de bezoekcijfers zijn de afgelopen jaren
flink gestegen, van 20.000 in 1996 naar 75.000 in 2019. Daar is het museumgebouw niet op
berekend. Na een grondige verbouwing is er bij heropening voldoende ruimte voor 100.000
bezoekers per jaar. Het UMU ontwikkelt zich van een wetenschapsmuseum tot een echt
onderzoeksmuseum. Volgens het principe van onderzoekend leren nemen we onze
bezoekers actief mee in het proces van wetenschap en laten ze deelnemen aan echt
onderzoek. Dankzij de steun van de Universiteit Utrecht kunnen we het museumgebouw
ingrijpend aanpassen.

Het herinrichten van het museum en het ontwikkelen van nieuwe presentaties doen we in
samenwerking met partners die het belang van onderzoek en wetenschapswijsheid
onderschrijven. De komende jaren zal GenDx, specialist in DNA-diagnostiek voor het
genetisch matchen van transplantatiepatiënten met donoren, een belangrijke financiële
bijdrage leveren aan deze herinrichting.

Wietse Mulder, CEO van GenDx: “de samenwerking met het UMU past ons goed. Wij weten
wat het betekent om als donor het verschil te maken. Het is daarom onze missie om de
kwaliteit van leven van transplantatiepatiënten wereldwijd te verbeteren. Dat vraagt veel
onderzoek. We vinden het essentieel dat het belang van onderzoek en wetenschap zichtbaar
is voor een breed publiek. Het UMU laat dat op innemende manier zien”.

“We zijn erg blij met de bijdrage van GenDx. Het brengt ons weer een stap dichterbij de
realisatie van onze droom”, aldus Paul Voogt, directeur van het UMU.

GenDx at EFI 2021

EFI 2021 will take place fully virtually from Wednesday, April 21 to Friday, April 23 and we are proud to be one of the Gold Sponsors. Make sure to visit our virtual booth and attend our activities in the comfort of your own home or office. You can find the detailed program with all activities here.

Virtual booth
Here, you can check our latest posters and product presentations, find online brochures, explore NGSengine by video, educate yourself by our prerecorded webinars, and chat with our application specialists and distributors.

Satellite Symposium
Don’t forget to participate in this year’s edition! You can watch the prerecorded session on demand. The topic is Improving transplantation success by NGS-based chimerism monitoring & genotyping beyond classical HLA genes. If you have any questions, you can reach us via the chat or meeting corner in our booth.

Tulip Run
Last but not least, participate in the virtual edition of the Tulip Run. Find your own perfect 5 km running route in your city and run it during one of the EFI conference days. Register now and don’t forget to share your picture with us!

We look forward to e-meeting you!

GenDx medewerkers in beweging voor het Prinses Máxima Centrum en Stichting Leergeld Utrecht

UTRECHT – Van 2 maart tot 22 maart heeft GenDx, een bedrijf in de moleculaire transplantatiediagnostiek, haar medewerkers uitgedaagd om in beweging te komen voor het Prinses Máxima Centrum en Stichting Leergeld Utrecht. Ruim voor de deadline was het maximaal te behalen bedrag van €5.050 al verzameld door circa 40 sportieve medewerkers. Op woensdag 31 maart jl. zijn de cheques van 2.525,-  per doel overhandigd.

De doelstelling van GenDx Charity Challenge is bijdragen aan de fysieke en mentale gezondheid van medewerkers van GenDx in een periode waar – gedeeltelijk – thuiswerken, sluiting van sportscholen en -verenigingen, en minder sociale contacten het leven beïnvloeden. Deze activiteit sluit perfect aan bij de waarde van GenDx om te delen, hetgeen we ook binnen het werkveld van transplantatie diagnostiek van groot belang achten.

GenDx, gelegen op het Utrecht Science Park, is als spin-off van UMC Utrecht een van origine Utrechtse onderneming.  Wij zijn trots op ‘onze afkomst’ en steunen daarom verschillende lokale organisaties, waaronder Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, sportverenigingen Histos, Triton, Orca en SPIN en zeer recent het Universiteitsmuseum Utrecht. Voorafgaand aan de start van GenDx Charity Challenge kregen onze medewerkers de kans om een goed doel te kiezen uit een lijst van zowel lokale als internationale initiatieven, met als resultaat de keuze voor het Prinses Máxima Centrum en Stichting Leergeld Utrecht.

Beide organisaties willen het gedoneerde bedrag gebruiken om kinderen te laten bewegen. Stichting Leergeld Utrecht zet het bedrag in voor een specifiek project om kinderen uit lage-inkomens gezinnen te ondersteunen met hun contributie voor sportclubs. Binnen het Prinses Máxima Centrum wordt de donatie gebruikt voor de afdeling Quality of Life. Hieronder valt ook het Maximaal Bewegen project, dit programma richt zich op een sneller en beter herstel van kinderen met kanker door voldoende beweging en een verlaging van de stress bij kinderen en ouders tijdens het behandelproces door afleiding en sporten.


Overhandiging cheques op woensdag 31 maart 2021. Foto boven: Roelien Brommersma (GenDx) en Harmen van de Kamp (Stichting Leergeld Utrecht), Foto onder: Nienke Beek (Prinses Máxima Centrum) en Manon de Jong (GenDx)

Download Persbericht

BLOG: Discover our DNA

Discover the DNA of…  Marcin Braams

GenDx is a global leader in molecular diagnostics for matching stem cell transplant patients with donors, and monitor success of transplantation. Our team consists of specialists, strategists, technicians, developers and creatives, all with different competences but with the same drive: to improve the quality of life of transplant patients worldwide. In this blog, we would to introduce you to the people behind GenDx. This time we are happy to introduce Marcin Braams.   

Marcin in a few words
Reliable, accurate, made for multitasking

What position do you fulfill?
Quality Assurance Associate
As a Quality Assurance Associate I am responsible for the quality of all the GenDx processes. In this position, I am continuously looking for improvements in our processes.

What motivates you in your work?
First of all, I really enjoy the work atmosphere at GenDx, the open door policy really makes it easy to interact with colleagues from different teams. This results in great teamwork within the company. I’m working with a diverse set of colleagues and each successfully completed project is a great motivation. A project is always a team effort and it gives a great feeling of satisfaction when the project leads to improved processes. Another thing that really motivates me is the variety of projects I am working on. Some projects are relatively small and completed easily in a short amount of time, while some projects can be really challenging and take months, or even years.

What achievement are you most proud of (work related)?
I started working at GenDx as a technician. During my time as technician, I had to make some choices which lead to the start up as my function as a Quality Assurance Associate (QAA). As QAA I’m involved in lots of processes which need to be improved, and I’m also co-responsible for certain processes. I’m really proud that I made that challenging choice at the time because it enabled me to work with lots of different people and new challenging projects.
I’m also proud of the people I’m working with. Most of the projects require “out of the box” thinking, a different mindset and a bird’s-eye view in order to uphold quality, implement improvements, and come up with new ideas.

What is your passion, besides your work at GenDx?
I really enjoy doing sports. I’m currently part of a triathlon organization and I’m also regulatory running with my brother or friends. I specifically like water-related sports like swimming, rowing or surfing.

What do people probably don’t know about you?
I have a strange habit of accepting challenges from my friends or challenge myself. This led to funny and strange events like running half a marathon on the beach, and getting a license to operate small boats or follow kite surf lessons from sunrise to sunset. My latest challenge, set by myself, is learning a fourth language on B1 level in order to communicate with friends who moved to foreign countries.

Run with us during EFI 2021!

In a few weeks, the EFI conference will start. Unfortunately no in-person event in the vibrant Scottish city of Glasgow, but online attendance in the comfort of your own home or office.
Since it became a tradition at EFI conferences, we can not let the conference pass without the Tulip Run. Therefore we invite you to participate in a virtual edition of the Tulip Run!

How?
In Glasgow, we planned a beautiful running route starting at the conference venue, along the Clyde River to the Riverside Museum and back. With a distance of 5 km, the perfect run to start the second conference day. Curious about the Glasgow route? Watch the video and virtually explore the route including all highlights:

With this in mind, we like to challenge you to find your own perfect 5 km running route in your city and run it during one of the EFI conference days. Of course you can’t run without a proper running shirt, all participants therefore receive a Tulip Running shirt at their home- or office address.

Ready to run with us? Register now!

GenDx’ HLA typing products IVD registered at Health Canada

We are proud to share that we have completed IVD registration in Canada for our HLA typing products NGSgo®-AmpX v2 and NGSgo®-MX6-1.

Our CEO Wietse Mulder commented: “We have worked intensely to validate and document these NGSgo products according to the Health Canada IVD regulation. It took a great deal of work to complete, and we are proud to be the first supplier that can offer this IVD product for the transplant community in Canada. We believe the products will truly support better typing of the HLA genes.”

Press release GenDx IVD registration Health Canada

GenDx proud sponsor of Transplantoux

Our mission is to improve the quality of life and survival of transplant patients worldwide. With a team of over 60 passionate employees, we are committed to develop innovative products and actively support charities and institutions that share our mission.
It is therefore with pride that we support the Transplantoux event of the Give & Live Cycling Club. We are honored that our colleagues Henk van Laar and Stefan Timmerman have the opportunity to climb the Mont Ventoux together with a group of fit transplant patients and donors.

More information about the Transplantoux and Give&Live Cycling Club: https://giveandlive.nl/ 

BLOG: Discover our DNA

Discover the DNA of… Diya Gao

GenDx is a global leader in molecular diagnostics for matching stem cell transplant patients with donors, and monitor success of transplantation. Our team consists of specialists, strategists, technicians, developers and creatives, all with different competences but with the same drive: to improve the quality of life of transplant patients worldwide. In our blog Discover our DNA, we like to introduce you to the people behind GenDx. This time we are happy to introduce our colleague: Diya Gao

Diya in a few words
Cheerful, passionate, thoughtful

What position do you fulfill?
Project Manager R&D
Leading research projects for improving current products and generating new products to expand the GenDx product portfolio.

What motivates you in your work?
What motivates me is the great teamwork we have at GenDx, and it’s not just within the R&D team but the whole company. Because of this positive atmosphere created at GenDx, it makes me feel that my work is recognized, supported and appreciated and which has fulfilled my expectation from work.

What achievements are you most proud of?
As a project manager R&D, I have recently and officially kicked off a new R&D project which will help expand the GenDx product portfolio. Setting up this project was a complex and challenging process but I am very happy about the outcome from the initial stage.

What is your passion, besides your work at GenDx?
I like cooking and inviting friends over to eat together. I also enjoy cooking together with my friends, for example, making jiaozi (aka dumplings) or baozi.  And of course after dinner we would be playing board games such as the werewolf game (before Covid).

What do people probably don’t know about you?
Occasionally I like to discover my physical limit in suboptimal situations. For example, cycling ~70 km on a normal bike from Gouda to Hellevoetsluis or jogging 15 km in a warm summer night. Those activities were initiated without a proper plan but because of the uncertainty, they have created lots of exciting memories in my life.

BLOG: A day at Support

I am Hannah Monsuur and I am Technical Support Specialist at GenDx. Our Support team consists of 5 persons: Veerle van Meervelt PhD, Zhen Ping PhD, Elja Louer PhD, Yvonne Dorland PhD and myself, Hannah Monsuur PhD. At GenDx, we have a strong focus on excellent customer support and strive to answer every email within 24-hours.  On a yearly basis, we assist customers from 55+ countries around the world with product questions, practical matters, data interpretation, and more. In this blog I would like to take you along in a day at GenDx Support.

At 9 am we start the day with our daily scrum, we have quite a lot of e-mails today! Since we are all working from home due to the pandemic, we are meeting each other online. In the scrum we go over each e-mail, if needed we shortly discuss the case and then we allocate the e-mail to one of our team members. We get all kind of questions, you can think of requests to renew a license, questions about Sanger, a new lab asking for help with the NGS workflow, challenging NGS data analysis questions, etc.

Yesterday we received a particular challenging case, the customer sent us NGS data which they could not interpret. It is potentially a novel allele, but it might also be a sequence artefact. Elja has been working on this question, but since it is so challenging we decide in the scrum that Veerle and Elja will further discuss the case together. Two people always know more than one!

” Two people always know more than one! “

At 10 am, Hannah has a meeting with a customer who will perform their very first NGS workflow. Together with Technical Application Specialist Robert Welleweerd B.ASc, she will guide them through the steps of amplification in an online meeting. Since the camera will be on the work bench the whole time, Robert and Hannah can follow their steps in detail and give advice while the workflow is performed. After lunch an e-mail in the inbox shows us a gel picture with very nice amplicons, the meeting has been a success! Tomorrow we continue the workflow with library preparation.

While Yvonne is writing an e-mail to advice a customer about the right settings to analyze MX11-3, the phone rings! It is a customer from Germany having difficulties while loading the sequencer. It is a difficult question so she quickly discusses the question with a colleague, continues the call with the customer and to the relieve of the customer the issue is resolved. Now back to the MX11-3 question as there are still multiple questions waiting to be answered.

Ping has been helping our distributor in China, they needed help with Sanger data which did not align to the reference. Luckily it was just a matter of giving the .abi files the correct name. Once he finishes the last question allocated to him during the scrum, he takes another look at the inbox and continues with a new question.

” There is never a ‘normal’ day at Support “

It is 5 pm and Elja has finished an elaborate e-mail to the customer explaining why the data was indeed a novel allele. There is also an e-mail from someone we helped last week, she thanks us for the great help with her data analysis question and informs us that we can use her case for one of our NGS case study webinars. Today we have answered many e-mails and tomorrow we will continue with new questions. There is never a ‘normal’ day at Support, it is always a surprise which questions we receive and whether urgent questions or meetings come up during the day.

BLOG: Discover our DNA

Discover the DNA of… Lili Ortega

GenDx is a global leader in molecular diagnostics and develops innovative products for HLA typing and chimerism monitoring. Our team consists of specialists, strategists, technicians, developers and creatives, all with different competences but with the same drive: to advance the field by offering excellent molecular diagnostic tools and sharing knowledge. In our blog Discover our DNA, we like to introduce you to the people behind GenDx. This time we are happy to introduce our colleague: Lili Ortega

Lili In a few words
Reliable, dependable, inquisitive and trustworthy

What position do you fulfill?
Logistics and Administrative Associate
Manage daily office business and Logistics procedures, everything from the start of a purchase order to completion of delivery and invoicing and solving problems in-between!

What motivates you in your work?
Positive attitudes and enthusiasm from myself and others

What achievements are you most proud of?
Jumping in and taking charge of the Chicago office with little guidance. Managing to get past customers to pay very old invoices! Coordinating the office move. Learning more about HLA etc…. to better understand the nature of the business and able to ask the right questions.
I like to also think of myself very determined to be of value and with my actions moving towards understanding as much as I can to continue to be a benefit to GenDx.

What is your passion, besides your work at GenDx?
My family, children and dogs. They keep me on my toes! Love the outdoors from brisk walking, running, biking, tennis, kayaking to theater and traveling. I also volunteer in the community.

What do people probably don’t know about you?
For as much as I am family oriented, I have a very special relationship with each of my children. My oldest son Christian and I share the love of music. So we have been going to music concerts since he was a child, starting out with classic rock band and moved to touch on all genera’s of music until COVID stopped the world. My middle son Nicholas and I share time kayaking, golfing, talking about world politics and our 401K investments. While my youngest and only daughter Alyssa, still in High School, we share the love of theater and travelling, the 2 things we couldn’t do this past year other than talking about how to catch up on the lost time.  One thing most people do not know about me is that as a child I would go to Europe with my grandmother and spend the entire summer in different parts visiting family. As a kid I always thought that was strange that everyone didn’t do that! Also that I was a bartender for a few years after college. The last thing that most do not know about me is my real name. My real first name is Ljiljana. I am Serbian but born in the US, 1st generation American.
This is me…… 🙂

 

Webinar – PIRCHE Epitope Matching in Kidney Transplantation: A Case Study

Have you heard about PIRCHE?

Register now for our webinar on February 16:

PIRCHE Epitope Matching in Kidney Transplantation: A Case Study

PIRCHE® is a new technology for estimating the risk of immune responses after transplantation. It is the first HLA matching algorithm taking into account the indirect pathway of allo-recognition. PIRCHE currently has more than 650 users in 57 countries.

The input of the algorithm is the HLA genotype of a sample. The output of this algorithm is a score (number), to be considered when searching for a donor.

With NGSengine version 2.16 or higher, you can have access to the PIRCHE export feature. GenDx customers can also receive full access to the full range of PIRCHE epitope matching modules through the PIRCHE web platform. You only need to register selecting GenDx as preferred partner.

For more details, visit www.pirche.com

GenDx sponsor of AFDN

GenDx is a proud sponsor of the AFDN (Allele Frequency Net Database) website. AFND is a very useful tool for researchers as they can search population frequencies of several immune genes such as Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA), Killer-cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptors (KIR), Major histocompatibility complex class I chain-related (MIC) genes, and a number of cytokine gene polymorphisms. It contains information at allele, haplotype and genotype level depending on the polymorphism. Users can now find on the website data from more than 2000 populations on 7 million individuals.

AFND is currently maintained by researchers at Royal Liverpool University Hospital and the University of Liverpool, in collaboration with other international scientific groups.

BLOG: Discover our DNA

Discover the DNA of… Karen Mulderij

GenDx is a global leader in molecular diagnostics for matching stem cell transplant patients with donors, and monitor success of transplantation. Our team consists of specialists, strategists, technicians, developers and creatives, all with different competences but with the same drive: to improve the quality of life of transplant patients worldwide. In our blog Discover our DNA, we would like to introduce you to the people behind GenDx. This time we are happy to introduce our colleague:  Karen Mulderij

Karen in a few words
Cheerful, reliable, enthusiastic and responsible

What position do you fulfill?
I am a Technician R&D, which I have been for 2 years now.
My main responsibilities are:

  • Production of numerous GenDx reagents .
  • Quality control of reagents using the MiSeq, qPCR or Sanger workflow.
  • Research and development experiments for new products and procedures.
  • Improving existing products and workflows.
  • Maintenance of laboratory equipment.

Our R&D and production activities take place in different laboratories. Therefore, I alternate every 4 to 6 weeks between these laboratories.

What do you like about your job?
I really appreciate the work atmosphere at GenDx. Teamwork is important, and my colleagues are always willing to help me. . I also like the diversity of my tasks and my responsibilities within the company. My favorite workflow is qPCR because I find the theoretical background very interesting.

Another reason why I like my work so much is because with everything we do, we contribute to the best possible match between patient and donor.

What achievement are you most proud of (work related)?
First of all, I am proud that people know where to find me if they need help. It is very satisfying to know that people trust and value the quality of my work.

Secondly, I am proud of what the team has achieved during covid-19. During the pandemic the technicians had to work harder to produce the same amount of products, because the maximum number of technicians in the lab was restricted. Lastly, I am proud of being responsible for validation and contacts for the qPCR for over a year.

What do you do when you are not at work?
I love watching movies. I enjoy almost any genre, except for horror movies, those I don’t like at all. Besides watching movies, I also like to play board games or card games with friends. My favorite games are The Werewolves, Codenames, Pandemic and Hanabi. I especially like the games where you have to work together in order to win (cooperative play).

What I love to do as well is hiking in the forest or mountains. Hiking trails along small creeks, the real ‘hidden’ places’, I enjoy the most.

What do people probably not know about you?
What people may not know is that I have spent a high school year in America as an exchange student, before I went to college. This was the first time I really stepped out of my comfort zone. A few years later, I went abroad for six more months to study in Australia. Since that time I haven’t lived abroad anymore, but I did move three times within the Netherlands. In December, I will move again and hopefully that will remain my home for the coming years.

Prof. Seiamak Bahram appointed as scientific advisor to GenDx

We proudly announce that earlier this year we have appointed Professor Seiamak Bahram as scientific advisor to our company. Professor Bahram has an extensive knowledge of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) and in particular the MHC Class I chain-related molecules A (MICA) and B (MICB). His scientific advice will provide valuable input to the company regarding relevant immunological targets and the use of diagnostic assays in a hospital setting.

Press Release Appoinment Prof. Seiamak Bahram.

BLOG: Ten tips & tricks to optimize your NGSgo® Workflow

In the past few months we have recorded the nine protocol steps of the NGSgo Workflow. These videos visualize how to execute the workflow steps and can be used as an addition to the available Instructions for Use. The videos are now available on our website, please note that these videos are not a replacement for the Instructions for Use.

Remco Malestein B.ASc (Technical Application Specialist) and Jannetje Kooij B.ASc (Custom Laboratory Service Coordinator & Technician) have been using the NGSgo workflow for multiple years and are very happy to share some additional tips & tricks to optimize the results of your workflow.


Tip 1: Work in a dedicated DNA workplace
PCR amplification is a very sensitive technique, therefore you need to be aware of the possibility of sample contamination, which can have a negative impact on the results. In order to prevent contamination, we advise to separate the DNA from the amplification reagents in the pre-amplification lab. Move to a designated DNA workplace and wear a special DNA lab coat when you are going to dispense your DNA into the plate. Additionally, it is strongly recommended to perform pre-amplification and post-amplification procedures in separate rooms. In this way, the chance of contamination is minimized.

Tip 2: Standardization of DNA input
By standardizing the DNA input amount before amplification, the amplification results will be very consistent. For single plex amplification this makes the amplicon pooling very easy and consistent. For the multiplex amplifications MX6-1 and MX11-3 this will also yield very consistent sequencing results with similar read depths per sample.

Tip 3: Use 8-well strips
During the NGS workflow, when using a high amount of samples (>24), it will save time to first aliquot the ligase and/or HiFi mastermix in an 8-well strip. This way it is faster to distribute the mix in the plate using a multichannel pipet.

Tip 4: Beads at room temperature
At the start of the NGS workflow, don’t forget to take the beads that are needed in the next step (DNA cleanup) out of the refridgerator. The beads work optimal when at room temperature.

Tip 5: Use a multichannel with a reagent reservoir
If you want to save time during the first Bead Cleanup, make use of a reagent reservoir in combination with a multichannel pipet! This works well for pipetting the beads, elution buffer and 80% ethanol. By using the multichannel pipet you can  fill eight  tips at once which makes pipetting easy and faster. Any remaining beads or elution buffer can be re-used!

Tip 6: Use IndX plates
The Indexing PCR ensures that all samples have a unique barcode. When using the Library Full Kit, an IndX plate is included. This plate contains  all unique index primer combinations for a quick and easy setup of the Indexing PCR. This will save you a lot of time. Afterwards, simply use the GenDx Sample Sheet to link the sample name to used index combination.

Tip 7: Re-use the IndX plate up to 17 times
The IndX plate consists of 96 unique index combinations. A big advantage of this plate is that unused indices can be used at a later time. You can simply store the plate in the freezer and re-use it  up to 17 times! This means you can easily run a small amount of samples and save the leftover indices for later

Tip 8: Use Qubit quantification in the Illumina workflow
After your library preparation is finished the Quantification of your library can be done in two different ways. Using the KAPA qPCR assay, or the fluorescence based Qubit. Using the Qubit will save a significant amount of time. Simply using the correction factor to calculate the final concentration in nM (nanomolars)  and you are ready for sequencing!

Tip 9: Use Qubit correctly
The Qubit is an easy and fast fluorescence based quantification method. It is advised to use gloves when handling the Qubit tubes to prevent a dirty tube from influencing the measurement results. An extra tip is to put a glove over the vortex; in this way the Qubit tubes will not be smudged by the vortex rubber.

Tip 10: Use the flow cell calculation sheet
In order to most efficiently use the sequencer flow cell, GenDx has developed a flow cell calculation sheet. This excel tool will calculate the maximum amount of samples that can be loaded, no matter the loci configuration. The calculation is based on an minimum read depth of 500 reads.

After these 10 valuable tips & tricks, you are probably motivated to move to the lab and perform the NGSgo workflow! Use the Instruction for Use for the correct execution of the NGSgo Workflow and check out the Instructional videos here for a visualization of the steps.

NGSgo® Workflow videos now available!

The NGSgo® Workflow has now been visualized! We have recorded the protocol steps of the NGSgo® Workflow in 9 separate videos.. In these videos, our colleagues Jannetje Kooij B.ASc, Remco Malestein B.ASc and Robert Welleweerd B.ASc show you how to execute each step of the workflow. The videos can be used as an addition, not as a replacement, to the available Instructions for Use.

All videos are now available on our website: www.gendx.com/gendx_education/instructional-videos-ngsgoworkflow/

BLOG: Discover our DNA

Discover the DNA of… Joris Albers.

GenDx is a global leader in molecular diagnostics for matching stem cell transplant patients with donors, and monitor success of transplantation. Our team consists of specialists, strategists, technicians, developers and creatives, all with different competences but with the same drive: to improve the quality of life of transplant patients worldwide. In our blog Discover our DNA, we would like to introduce you to the people behind GenDx. This time we are happy to introduce our colleague:  Joris Albers.  

Joris described in a few words
Creative, enthusiastic, restless and stubborn

What position do you fulfill?
I am a Project Manager Software Development. My main responsbilities are:

– Improving our software products, with a focus on NGSengine
– Final code review, making sure internal and external software qualities are maintained
– Writing technical plans
– Teaching software topics
– Deploying releases

What do you like about your job?
First of all the team I’m working in. In contrary to popular belief, software developers spend a lot of time on discussing the features of the software. These discussions can get pretty intense, but always result in the best improvements for the user. I feel very lucky to work in a team where everyone is motivated to do the best they can. Secondly, developing software, and especially the coding aspect, is just so much fun! Solving challenges requires us to be creative on a technical level. There’s is no better feeling than solving a challenge that results in improving the users’ workflow, and ultimately improves the quality of life of a patient!

What achievement are you most proud of? And why?
The major releases of NGSengine. We have worked on it for a long time to implement lots of new features customers have been asking for. It’s a great feeling to release a new version into the world, after months of discussions, planning, screen mockups, code reviews and tests.

Software developing is like a puzzle and a release is like sending in a possible solution to (parts of) the puzzle. After a release, it becomes the question if the customer likes the solution. The puzzle itself is complex because a theoretical idea is sometimes difficult to realize in code. It is a constant battle between what we want to do and what we can do. Overcoming these obstacles and implementing features that users need, makes me proud.

What do you do if you are not at work?
Apart from the usual stuff – I like to read books, play board games with friends, drink specialty beers and nice wines and I take care of over 35 plants in my house. As a side project, I’m currently working on a LED installation together with a group of friends. This project enables me to program a project that’s not as heavily regulated and tested as during my job. The project started 3 years ago and the LED installation is occasionally used at parties hosted by friends, but also at venues within the Netherlands. During one of the heat weaves in 2019, we have spend a week locked in a basement, soldering the different components together. We were ready just in time for the party where the LED installation would be used.

The combination of hardware and software is something that interests me, because you immediately get direct feedback on the code you write. It’s not just manipulating data, its real, it affects the space around you. After spending a lot of time creating it, it is truly mesmerizing to look at thousands of individual lights that create a stunning visual together.

What do people probably don’t know about you?
I’m really into the electronic early hardcore sound from the 90’s. Examples are Ruffneck, Meagashira, Predator and Marc Acardipane. Enzyme X is great too.  Search for “Up & Down” from Marc Acardiplane & New balance. One of the best!  Most of the songs made by these DJ’s were created before I was born. But if I had lived in that time, I’m sure my head would be bald and my wardrobe filled with colorful aussies.

Introducing NGSgo-MX11-3
Easy as one-two-three

The multiplex you have been waiting for!

Amplification primers for eleven loci are multiplexed in three tubes. The three-tube design results in lower noise levels, better-balanced alleles, and higher quality compared to a one-tube approach. This means more reliable typing results.

From DNA to results in only 1,5 days!

Start your amplification on day 1 and have your typing report on day 2 before noon. You can run 16 samples on an Illumina micro flow cell.

 

Read the press release about the new NGSgo-MX11-3, check out the product information page or read our blog, and try out our new multiplex now!

BLOG: NGSgo®-MX11-3: The multiplex you have been waiting for.

With the launch of our brand new multiplex HLA amplification product NGSgo-MX11-3, it is time to learn and discover more about this unique product! We have asked our Project Managers R&D Sake van Wageningen and Bram Luiken to highlight why MX11-3 is the product you have been waiting for…

Bram and Sake, you have been working on the development of the new Multiplex product of GenDx, called NGSgo®-MX11-3. At the moment, GenDx already has a multiplex in its portfolio, NGSgo®-MX6-1, why should we choose MX11-3?

MX11-3 is the latest addition to the GenDx HLA typing product line and is designed to be the new ‘flagship’ amplification product. The product incorporates a lot of frequently requested updates to our amplification products, greatly extending coverage, increased ease of use and high data quality.

Sounds like an excellent addition to the product line! If our customers order MX11-3, what will they find in the product kit?

The kit contains three highly optimized multiplex amplification primer-sets, each with their own reconstitution buffer for dissolving the primers the first time the kit goes into use. Primers and their corresponding buffer have the same cap colour for ease-of-use.

Additionally, you will find tubes of water and Longmix, the only reagent needed for amplification outside of the primers.

You are referring to three multiplex amplification primer-sets. You might be aware that other companies have all 11 loci in 1 tube. Why did GenDx choose to work with 11 loci in 3 tubes, what are the advantages?

The use of 3 tubes allows optimal data quality by separating amplicons and amplification primers that are most prone to generation of hybrid reads or pseudogene/dimer artefacts. This greatly reduces the noise levels in data analysis and allows high mappability compared to one tube approaches. The aim was to generate a simple protocol with the highest data quality so your patients end up with the best possible typing result.

You mentioned that the product is easy to use. Why?

NGSgo-MX11-3 amplification mixtures consist of only 3 components in easy to handle volumes, while all 11 genes are amplified using a single cycling program. Immediately after amplification, equal volumes of each mix are used for pooling (1:1:1) followed by a fixed volume input of 2µl into the NGSgo library preparation workflow. This means that you do not have to quantify your amplicons. The product is designed in conjunction with NGSgo library preparation and NGSengine® analysis has been optimized to analyse MX11-3 data.  

What about coverage? Is it correct that MX11-3 has whole-gene coverage?

The NGSgo-MX11-3 has an increased coverage as compared to the traditional amplification strategies. It combines optimized versions of previously available AmpX v2 whole gene amplifications for HLA class I, as well as DRB1, DRB3, DQB1, DQA1 and DPB1. New are whole gene amplifications for DRB5 and DPA1 and improved coverage of DRB4 exon2 and 3 in 1 amplicon.

Thank you very much for these interesting insights in the new products MX11-3. Last but not least we are very eager to know, when can we start using MX11-3?

NGSgo®-MX11-3 is expected to be ready for shipment early October, 2020 (RUO). You can already place your order, contact your local GenDx representative for more information.

 

Wietse Mulder PhD, CEO of GenDx, inaugurates new boat of student rowing club Orca

2020 is a milestone year for both GenDx and student rowing club Orca. While GenDx celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, Orca will reach its 50th anniversary in October, a huge accomplishment for both.

GenDx CEO Wietse Mulder has been a member of Orca from 1983 to 1996, participating in several rowing races with his Orca team ‘Dé clubacht’. Several other Orca teams were competing at the same time, and there was always some rivalry over which team would get to use the best 8+ boat. As Wietse and his team did not always win the boat struggle, they jokingly said that one day they would buy their own boat.

In the milestone year 2020, Wietse decided to buy the boat for Orca, and on Saturday, August 22, Wietse baptized the brand new 8+ Filippi boat in the presence of current Orca members, as well as his former team members. During the ceremony, Wietse elaborated on his reasoning to support the club and referred to two of his main entrepreneurial strategy principles: ‘Dare to share’ and ’Do not always expect a return of investment’.

After the ceremony, pictures were taken of the boat and the (former) Orca members, taking the COVID-19 restrictions into account. The pictures show the beautiful boat with special GenDx graphics, designed by Leon Hulst from WAT Ontwerpers.

GenDx proud sponsor of ASHI Virtual REW

ASHI Regional Education Workshop have gone virtual! As corporate sponsor, GenDx will give an Innovative Technology Talk on Friday August 28 from 3.30 pm – 3.45 pm, followed by a Q&A. Additionally, we will be happy to (virtually) meet you in the Virtual Exhibit Hall on Friday August 21.

Will we meet you there?

Please have a look at the ASHI regionals website for the full virtual program: http://www.ashiregionals.org/ 
You need to register in order to access the program.

 

Join our webinars in September!

The summer is in full swing! While some are enjoying a well-deserved summer break, others have already enjoyed their holiday and are now keeping the office running.
After a short break in July and August, we will start again with the webinars in September. On September 2 we will kick off with the webinar New features of NGSenginefollowed by the webinar Towards defining the immunogenicity of HLA eplets on September 16.

Attend the webinar and receive 0.15 continuing education credits (CECs).

Stay up-to-date on all our educational events by frequently checking our website: GenDx.com/education. If you have any questions, please contact us directly via education@gendx.com

GenDx and Stadsschouwburg strengthen cooperation

Last week, Wietse Mulder PhD (CEO, GenDx) and Joost Kook (Deputy Director, Stadsschouwburg Utrecht) have signed a new contract for three years to confirm mutual engagement and strengthen their cooperation. Three years ago, GenDx became partner of the Stadsschouwburg Foundation. In the new contract GenDx becomes a founder.

Please find the full press release in Dutch below:

 

GenDx en Stadsschouwburg verstevigen samenwerking

Afgelopen week ondertekenden Wietse Mulder (PhD, CEO van GenDx) en Joost Kok (adjunct-directeur Stadsschouwburg Utrecht) een nieuwe overeenkomst voor drie jaar om de wederzijdse betrokkenheid te bevestigen en de samenwerking te verstevigen. Drie jaar geleden trad GenDx toe als partner van de Stadsschouwburg Foundation. In het nieuwe contract wordt GenDx founder.
De Stadsschouwburg Foundation is een alliantie van Utrechtse organisaties en bedrijven die de schouwburg in staat stellen jaarlijks een aantal exclusieve (en kostbare) producties in het programma op te nemen. Als waardering voor hun steun biedt de schouwburg deelnemers aan de foundation bijzondere faciliteiten zoals ontvangsten van relaties, ontmoetingen tussen founders en diverse vormen van exposure. Andere Founders zijn Douwe Egberts, Rabobank Utrecht e.o. en de Provincie Utrecht.

Wietse Mulder (PhD, CEO van GenDx):
“Drie jaar geleden zijn we partner geworden van de Stadsschouwburg, met het volgende statement: ‘Wij weten wat het betekent om als donor het verschil te maken. Daarom is GenDx partner van Stadschouwburg Utrecht.’
GenDx is een Utrechtse Life Science onderneming en gevestigd op het Utrecht Science Park. In een tijd waarin nagenoeg geen voorstellingen kunnen worden gegeven bij de Stadsschouwburg, willen wij onze betrokkenheid versterken door founder te worden.
De relatie met de stadsschouwburg ligt ons na aan het hart en wordt door onze medewerkers zeer gewaardeerd. Zij kijken er naar uit om weer een voorstelling van eigen keuze bij te kunnen wonen. Daarnaast zijn we een tevreden bezoeker van restaurant Zindering, waar we regelmatig met onze gasten naar toe gaan.”

Joost Kok (adjunct-directeur Stadsschouwburg Utrecht):
“De Stadsschouwburg Foundation is een fijne plek waar veel Utrechtse bedrijven zich thuis voelen. De founders en partners steunen al jaren de activiteiten van Stadsschouwburg Utrecht. Zeker in deze tijd is deze steun hard nodig. We investeren veel in relatiebeheer waarbij het persoonlijke contact voorop staat. Dat dit werkt zien we aan een trouwe partner als GenDx, die nu besloten heeft om founder te worden. Het is hartverwarmend om te zien dat Gendx zoveel vertrouwen in ons uitspreekt, voor nu en in de toekomst.”


Foto:
V.l.n.r.: Joost Kok (adjunct-directeur Stadsschouwburg Utrecht), Wietse Mulder (PhD, CEO GenDx) en Dennis Dercksen (manager sales & sponsoring Stadsschouwburg Utrecht)

Tulip Challenge aftermovie

The Tulip Challenge was initiated during the COVID lockdown period to encourage people to stay fit, be connected with the HLA family and united by the common goal: to enhance the outcome of transplantation.

 

Last May, 87 participants from 14 different countries have completed the Tulip Challenge. Thank you for sharing your photos and videos of unique, impressive and exhausting workouts, which will definitely inspire all of us for the future.

Together, we have raised €2175 which will be donated to the organizers of the 18th International HLA & Immunogenetics Workshop to support research on COVID-19. Next week, the cheque will be handed over to the chairmen Eric Spierings and Sebastiaan Heidt.

Tulip Challenge Dashboard – Week 4

We have come to the end of the Tulip Challenge in May 2020. Thank you all for joining and sharing your workout with us! We are glad that the Tulip Challenge kept us connected with the HLA family during these extraordinary times and that we are united by the common goal: to enhance the outcome of transplantation.

Thanks to 87 completed Tulip Challenge in 14 different countries, we will donate € 2175 to the organizers of the 18th International HLA & Immunogenetics Workshop to support research on COVID-19.
You can check our photo gallery to see all Tulip Challenge workouts that were done by you: gendx.com/2020/05/tulip-challenge-2020/ 

GenDx Distributor Awards 2020

We cooperate closely with our distributors, who also contribute to education and offer services to HLA labs in over 60 countries. During these challenging months, we use the webinar opportunities to keep contact, educate and discuss the ongoing support in the HLA field. Besides discussing our latest product updates, we finished this time with a small ceremony to award 3 distributors who have excelled in the last year in their respective markets, resp. Voden Medical from Italy, Jasika from Croatia and Pensabio from Brazil. Congratulations!

Continuation of our business related to the COVID-19 outbreak

Dear customers,

We follow the developing outbreak of COVID-19 closely by monitoring the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Dutch government including the health measures of National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in the Netherlands. In general, we have defined and safeguarded our critical functions where possible and actively minimized physical contacts in our company, e.g. by increasing online cooperation and working in shifts.

The following is important for you to know:

  • Both our Dutch head office and US office are open as usual. You can contact us via our general email address and phone number(s): info@gendx.com and +31 (0)30 252 3799  or +1 (312) 815 5006
  • Our support team remains available for all your questions. Our intention is to answer your questions within 24 hours.
  • We have secured the safety and quality of our products by working in shifts to continue production and logistics.
  • Orders continue to be processed and shipped. Please place your order via order@gendx.com  or your local distributor.
  • All physical contact events in the upcoming month are canceled. We will organize some additional webinars instead, e.g. on April 8th the webinar  Multiplex amplification for fast and easy HLA typing is scheduled – click here for more information and registration

Even during this difficult time, we are happy to assist you and we hope that the potential damage for all our customers may be limited. Please take care of yourself and others, and stay healthy.

Kind regards,

The GenDx Team

May webinar series to commemorate our 15th anniversary

To commemorate our 15th anniversary, we are sharing a series of webinars this year! In the coming weeks we will offer multiple webinars, each taking approximately 30 minutes.

Register for one or multiple webinars via the link(s) below.


Webinar 1: Variability in HLA Expression: Impact on Histocompatibility Assay Interpretation and Immunologic Risk Assessment

May 7, 2020, 3:00 p.m. CEST (Amsterdam time) / noon CST (Chicago time)

We are pleased to welcome our guest speaker, Dr. Luis Hidalgo, to this webinar. Dr. Hidalgo is Associate Professor and Histocompatibility Lab Director at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Register (CEST, Amsterdam)
Register (CST, Chicago)


Webinar 2: Daily practice in an HLA lab: dealing with HLA-DR, a complicated genetic region

May 20, 2020, 3:00 p.m. CEST (Amsterdam time) / noon CST (Chicago time)

We are pleased to welcome our guest speaker, Dr. Nicholas Brown, to our webinar. Dr. Brown is the associate director of the histocompatibility testing laboratory, and assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Brown is interested in clinical assays for histocompatibility laboratories and has published reports on NGS typing assays, HLA antibody assays, and crossmatching. In this webinar, he will share his knowledge on the complicated HLA-DR immunogenetics.

Register (CEST, Amsterdam)
Register (CST, Chicago)


Webinar 3:  GenDx case studies *

May 27, 2020, noon CEST (Amsterdam time) / noon CST (Chicago time)

  • Live discussion of NGS data
  • Tips and tricks

Register (CEST, Amsterdam)
Register (CST, Chicago)


* You will receive data files in advance. We ask you to analyze the data and think about what you would report to the clinician. Before the webinar we would like to receive your answers and questions on education@gendx.com so we can address them in the live webinar. (software trial license available upon request)  We look forward to receiving your interpretation of the data!
For each webinar you attend, you will receive 0.15 continuing education credits (CECs).

We are looking forward to virtually meeting you during one or multiple webinars! If you have any questions, please contact us directly via education@gendx.com

Join us for the Tulip Challenge

Are you up for a workout challenge?

As an alternative to the well-known Tulip Run, the sports highlight of the EFI meetings, we invite you to join the Tulip Challenge in May 2020. This challenge can be completed from any city, country and continent in the world and goes beyond running since some preventive measures restrict people to go outside.

Share the workout that keeps you healthy and stay connected with the HLA field, as we used to do with the Tulip Run.

Are you in?

5 Steps to participate in the Tulip Challenge

  • Register before May 15 via: tulip-challenge-2020.eventbrite.co.uk and wait for your welcome package to arrive at your home.*
  • Use the textile marker to write down your city or country on the front of the T-shirt. We also include a card to write down your workout.
  • Run, walk, plank, squat or do another (indoor) workout in May, wearing your special edition Tulip Challenge T-shirt and make a photo or video.
  • Send the photo or video to marketing@gendx.com or share via your social media channel using #tulipchallenge2020. We will publish and/or share your workout on our social media channels to inspire others in the HLA field all around the world to do your workout as well.
  • For every submission, GenDx will donate €25,- to the organizers of the 18th International HLA & Immunogenetics Workshop to support research on COVID-19.

*We have a limited amount of Sports T-shirts available. Register soon to receive this special edition Tulip Challenge Sports T-shirt.

With this challenge we hope you will be encouraged to stay active and fit to overcome this exceptional period, be connected with the HLA family and united by the common goal: to enhance the outcome of transplantation.

Introducing the renewed Custom Lab Service

GenDx is proudly introducing the renewed Custom Lab Service. Empowered by our unsurpassed HLA expertise and advanced high-quality systems, we are fully committed to providing HLA typing services to facilitate HLA research.

Are you a CRO, CDMO, Pharma or a research organization and in need for support of your HLA typing project? You can just send us the DNA you would like to analyze and GenDx will report back the tissue typing results. Turnaround time and follow-up depends on the request.

For more information on our Custom Lab  Service, click here or contact us.

 

15 years GenDx: ‘Excellence in sharing’

A new decade has started. And, 2020 is a remarkable year as GenDx celebrates its 15th anniversary! ‘Excellence in sharing’ is our theme for 2020. One of the values of GenDx which will get a lot of attention by offering you interesting topics and in depth information related to the HLA field. Keep an eye on our event calendar for webinars and educational events. Visit us during the main congresses or just contact our team to learn more about our continuously expanding product portfolio. We are happy to share our successes with you!

NGSgo®-AmpX v2 and NGSgo®-MX6-1 now registered as CE-marked IVD

We are happy to announce that GenDx has registered NGSgo®-AmpX v2 and NGSgo®-MX6-1 as CE-marked IVD.

The NGSgo®-AmpX v2 and NGSgo®-MX6-1 primer kits are intended for the amplification of both HLA alleles present in a sample for downstream sequencing applications. They are intended for in vitro diagnostic use by professional users in diagnostic laboratories, such as laboratory technicians and physicians, trained in HLA-typing and DNA sequencing.

Customers that are interested in implementing these products to their workflow and wonder whether they could benefit from this registration, can receive more information by contacting their local GenDx distributor or by contacting GenDx directly.

GenDx partners with PIRCHE

Genome Diagnostics B.V. (“GenDx”) announced today that they have entered a collaboration with the Berlin-based company PIRCHE AG and have released a new version of their software NGSengine®. NGSengine, globally considered to be the ultimate Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) typing software for multiple NGS platforms, can now export HLA typing results of an individual sample directly to the PIRCHE matching services website. This will facilitate laboratories to predict indirectly recognizable HLA epitopes for either hematopoietic stem cells or solid organs.

About the PIRCHE algorithm
HLA mismatches between donors and recipients may lead to alloreactivity after transplantation. With the identification of numerous new HLA alleles, the risk of alloreactive responses towards HLA mismatches after transplantation has become more challenging to predict. The PIRCHE (Predicted Indirectly ReCognizable HLA Epitopes) algorithm has been developed to estimate the risk associated to alloreactive T-cell responses. The PIRCHE algorithm addresses the indirect recognition of HLA mismatches. It aims to improve transplant outcome by reducing Graft-versus-Host Disease and by enhancing Graf-versus-Leukemia effects after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and cord blood transplantation. In the field of organ transplantation, the algorithm allows estimating the incidence of developing donor-specific antibodies against the transplant, which is considered the major risk of graft failure.

About High-Resolution HLA Typing
The HLA system consists of a large family of highly variable genes and allelic variants which form the basis of the human immunological defense system. In stem cell transplantation, matching patient and donor is vital as small differences between HLA alleles may have serious effects on the outcome of transplantation. High-resolution typing is a technology which enables determination of variations in nucleotides, making it ideal for stem cell transplantation purposes.
GenDx offers the NGSgo® reagent line and the NGSengine software package for NGS-based HLA typing.