OpGen, Inc. (Nasdaq: OPGN, “OpGen”), a precision medicine company harnessing the power of molecular diagnostics and informatics to help combat infectious disease, today announced that its subsidiary Ares Genetics, which strives to become a leader in bacterial genomics and the AI-powered prediction of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), has commercially launched its AREScloud web application.
Outbreaks of antimicrobial resistant pathogens are a major threat to human health and are a burden to healthcare systems worldwide. To curb the AMR pandemic, effective AMR surveillance and diagnostics are required for infection prevention and better-informed selection of appropriate first- and second-line treatment options.
Leading global health organizations have acknowledged the importance of whole genome sequencing (WGS) of bacterial isolates for effective surveillance and infection prevention and control (IPC). In its 2020 report, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that WGS technology “provides a vast amount of information and the highest possible resolution for pathogen subtyping. The application of WGS for global surveillance can provide information on the early emergence and spread of AMR and further inform timely policy development on AMR control.”1
"The advantage of WGS over other molecular tests such as PCR resides in the technique’s potential to provide in a single assay sensitive and precise information on pathogen identity along with information on AMR and virulence," says Dr. Arne Materna, CEO of Ares Genetics. "The challenge of many microbiology laboratories resides in converting WGS-derived complex genome data into actionable information on pathogen identity and AMR, along with treatment options and transmission potential."
AREScloud is designed to help clinical microbiologists, epidemiologists and IPC experts overcome this challenge. The software fully automates data processing - from raw sequence data to report - and offers insights into epidemiologically and etiologically relevant information including pathogen identity, genotype, virulence, plasmids, and AMR. In addition to generating individual sample reports, the AREScloud version that has now been commercially released for the first time introduces unique features for comparative and outbreak analysis.
Under a simple subscription model users can benefit from access to ARESdb, a leading proprietary knowledgebase which contains comprehensive information on genetic and mutational AMR markers as well as advanced machine-learning models for the prediction of antibiograms directly from genomic data.
The performance of AREScloud bioinformatics pipelines for isolate WGS has been validated in several clinical studies. Studies from 20202 and 20213 demonstrate the pipelines' accuracy and reproducibility for different sequencing platforms, offering users flexibility to choose between widely available Illumina short read data or Oxford Nanopore Technology long read data, an option increasingly adopted for infectious disease applications due to its potential for rapid turn-around times. A multicenter validation study4 from 2020 demonstrates the analytical performance of predicting antibiograms from genomic data (also referred to as predictive antimicrobial susceptibility testing or pAST).
To demonstrate the clinical utility of the AREScloud web application and help identify further areas for optimization in the future, Ares Genetics is actively engaged in discussions with clinical expert users and is collaborating with two major U.S. hospitals on independent studies to evaluate the platform for clinical routine use and for outbreak analysis.
About OpGen, Inc.
OpGen, Inc. (Rockville, MD, USA) is a precision medicine company harnessing the power of molecular diagnostics and bioinformatics to help combat infectious disease. Along with our subsidiaries, Curetis GmbH and Ares Genetics GmbH, we are developing and commercializing molecular microbiology solutions helping to guide clinicians with more rapid and actionable information about life threatening infections to improve patient outcomes, and decrease the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant microorganisms, or MDROs. OpGen’s product portfolio includes Unyvero, Acuitas AMR Gene Panel and Acuitas® Lighthouse, and the ARES Technology Platform including ARESdb, using NGS technology and AI-powered bioinformatics solutions for antibiotic response prediction.
For more information, please visit www.opgen.com.
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