Thriving at a more efficient way to type more potential stem cell donors without any quality loss, we decided early to explore better options. In 2013, NGS was far from being an established method of donor typing, but its high potential promised to be its future. This belief led us to the world’s first implementation of a high throughput workflow for NGS HLA-typing. Using the Illumina system, vast amounts of samples could now be typed in parallel. Within six weeks we doubled our throughput to over 30,000 samples per month while significantly improving resolution.
Setting up this next generation of HLA-typing confronted us with a plethora of unique challenges that led to the in-house development of all our primers, the establishment of an efficient process for sample pooling, and the development of our highly customized analysis software ‘neXtype’. These foundations formed the basis for continuing successful progress and growth.
Over the past ten years, we have kept an eye on cutting-edge developments in the field of immunogenetics to help improving stem-cell transplantation outcomes. We have constantly challenged ourselves, providing today what will be needed tomorrow. Following this philosophy, we continuously extend our typing profile and maximize our typing capacity.
In the last 10 years, the DKMS Life Science Lab typed more than 10 Mio. samples by NGS using 3 generations of Illumina instruments and continuously extending the typing profile.
After ten years of next-generation sequencing, we proudly look back on more than ten million NGS-typed donors – each a potential second chance at life. Since providing the best possible typing profile in the highest quality and most cost-efficient way is our goal, we will continue to invest in improving our workflows.