Category: Automation and High-Throughput Technologies

1273-D - Automation of an industry-leading liquid biopsy platform across two continents

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Inivata is a global clinical cancer genomics company utilizing an industry-leading liquid biopsy platform to transform patient care. Using a simple blood test, Inivata’s InVision liquid biopsy platform brings together Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology with proprietary algorithms and databases that correlate genomic profiles to clinical outcomes. Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is an invaluable tool to supplement traditional biopsies for molecular characterization and monitoring of solid cancers, especially for cancers such as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) where tumor tissue is limited or unobtainable. ctDNA represents a small fraction of the cell-free DNA (cfDNA) present, therefore, methods for isolating, and analyzing ctDNA need to be sensitive and highly reproducible. Inivata and Hamilton Robotics have partnered to automate the InVisionFirstTM assay on the Microlab STAR liquid handling platform and implement across two laboratories 3,800 miles apart, in Morrisville NC, USA and in Cambridge, UK. The benefits of automating Inivata’s InVisionFirstTM assay are decreased turnaround time, increased sample throughput, cost-effective scalability and no variation between operators or sites. Automating the process has decreased sample processing time from 47 hours for manual library preparation to 13 hours of automated processing and quadrupled sample throughput across both sites.  With a total of 5,573 samples having been processed through the system. Inivata uses a total of ten STAR instruments to optimize and simplify the workflow for Clinical Staff. Distinct parts of the process have been built using varying configurations of 8-way independent pipetting channels, 96-way capacitive liquid sensing heads, auto load systems and a modular deck layout available on the Hamilton platform.  The Hamilton Venus method software combines versioning control and validation with user administration to ensure that process specific instruments are running the correct method versions and only validated methods are accessible to operators. To show site to site reproducibility InVisionFirstTM assay was tested across 35 variants at 5 allelic fractions (1%, 0.5%, 0.25%, 0.125%, 0.0625%) with 3 operators per site, the analytical performance was highly reproducible across both international laboratories SD +/- 1.4%.  The platform represents a robust, adaptable, and highly precise liquid handling platform upon which Inivata has developed an automated ctDNA diagnostic pipeline with identical metrics in two global locations.

Colin Herd

Senior Automation Specialist
Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

My Background has come from 17 years of experience in high throughput Molecular Biology, DNA sequencing and Laboratory Automation in both Academia and Industry. I have held a number of roles ranging from work of the Pufferfish Genome Sequence, Malaria Genome Engineering, GWAS studies on Age Related Hearing Loss, Knock Out Mutation Screening and recovery in Mutagenized Zebrafish, Setting up a sequencing facility and my current Role in Automating an Industry leading Liquid Biopsy Platform at Inivata.