DNA biometrics advance with FBI approval for Thermo Fisher Scientific, new partnership

Qiagen and Verogen collaborate on next-gen forensics
DNA biometrics advance with FBI approval for Thermo Fisher Scientific, new partnership

Law enforcement booking stations in the United States have a new tool to automatically process, upload and search DNA biometrics reference samples from qualifying arrestees against the U.S. National DNA Index System (NDIS) CODIS database.

This follows the approval by the FBI of the Applied Biosystems RapidHIT ID DNA solution by Thermo Fisher Scientific.

According to the announcement, the DNA biometrics sample of an arrested person can be processed, enrolled and searched in CODIS in approximately 90 minutes while providing actionable information intended to keep communities safer. The solution is intended to reduce the investigation and DNA laboratory time spent by law enforcement officers as well as criminal justice costs.

The solution, the company explains, is a biometric crime fighting tool that ensures high success rates with a range of common DNA collection swabs; enables DNA profiles to be integrated with Live Scan terminals and other biometric information systems to meet FBI, state and agency requirements; permits real-time analysis for cost-efficient single-sample processing; and supports embedded auditing, reporting and training tools to ease security and compliance with FBI guidelines, including automated record deletion controls.

Joanie Brocato, former DNA manager at the Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory and current department head of the Clinical Laboratory Science program at Louisiana State University Health Science Center, said the solution is a powerful tool capable of enhancing public safety.

“DNA processing and searching, while the suspect is in custody, significantly reduces the time to identify or eliminate a potential suspect and decreases the opportunity for reoffending or fleeing. It also helps to further close the gaps on missed arrestee collections that occur today. The FBI NDIS approval demonstrates that rapid DNA in a booking station can be used responsibly, in a manner that maintains the quality and integrity of the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), while assisting law enforcement in expediting the identification of potential perpetrators,” said Brocato.

Martin Guillet, vice president and general manager in charge of human identification at Thermo Fisher Scientific, said the approval of the RapidHIT ID DNA Booking System is a crucial step in supporting the FBI’s vision of searching CODIS while a qualifying arrestee is in police custody.

Qiagen seals commercial deal with Verogen

Forensic technology providers Qiagen and Verogen have partnered to provide superior tools and comprehensive support for forensic biometric identification workflows in the laboratories of both companies.

Qiagen is an identification and forensic testing solutions provider, while Verogen develops DNA-based biometric human identification products for analysis of forensic genomic samples.

According to an announcement, the deal with help Qiagen expand its forensics market lead as it will offer Verogen’s biometric DNA sequencing and analysis solutions that run on MiSeq FGx sequencers from Illumina, while broadening the reach of Verogen’s forensic sequencing and analysis products.

The partnership allows Qiagen the rights to distribute the Verogen portfolio globally – including kits based on the proprietary Verogen ForenSeq assay, the Verogen MiSeq FGx Sequencing System and the Universal Analysis Software – and covers an expansion of the partnership through future ForenSeq-based assays.

Per the deal, the companies will work together to commercialize a range of forensically validated workflows for next-generation sequencing (NGS), combining Verogen library-prep products with Qiagen’s QIAseq technology, automation solutions and expertise. Qiagen will market Verogen biometric products across the world together with its portfolio of forensic tools.

“This combination brings together Verogen’s innovative NGS workflows with QIAGEN’s leading portfolio of Sample to Insight solutions, creating the most comprehensive product offering for forensics applications. The partnership will drive the adoption of NGS in human identification as it will enable our customers to gain even better insights from their casework samples. This will ultimately strengthen justice systems all over the world,” said Thierry Bernard, chief executive officer at Qiagen.

To Brett Williams, chief executive officer at Verogen, “this partnership with QIAGEN will make it easier for laboratories to provide more impactful answers.”

“Our mission is to empower the human identification community with innovative tools that can deliver an identification, not just a DNA profile,” said Williams.

The companies suggest that the collaboration will address major hurdles in areas like workflow integration, automation and vendor support that have slowed adoption of NGS in forensics.

Global webinar on forensic science

The second edition of the Global webinar on Forensic Science is due to take place from July 23 to 25.

Organized by the Global Scientific Guild, the virtual event is expected to gather forensic science experts and delegates, and will take place under the theme “Insights and Innovations in Forensic Science: Progressing to the Future.”

According to organizers, the event will be chaired by three eminent academics from the U.S, Italy and the U.K.

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