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)

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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.