Verogen and Cellmark claim UK’s first forensic DNA biometrics sequencing accreditation
Forensic technology providers Verogen and Cellmark Forensic Services partnered to release the UK’s first ISO/IEC 17025-accredited forensic sequencing service. The accreditation was granted to Cellmark by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) for its next-generation sequencing (NGS) capabilities in forensic analysis of DNA biometrics.
“NGS is a huge leap forward in forensic DNA technology, and this accreditation demonstrates that it meets the rigorous standards necessary for introduction into forensic laboratories,” commented Verogen CEO Brett Williams.
Following the move, the firm will be able to provide NGS-based forensic biometric services to its law enforcement partners.
As part of the new collaboration, Verogen will supplement Cellmark’s existing specialist DNA capabilities with its recently-upgraded ForenSeq DNA Signature Prep Kit.
The tool works by targeting the core autosomal and Y-STR loci widely accepted by global databases and consequently ensuring compatibility with existing DNA data.
ForenSeq also offers markers designed to provide advanced forensic intelligence like hair and eye color, as well as biogeographical estimations. The data can then be simultaneously interrogated using Verogen’s MiSeq FGx Sequencing System.
“This partnership with Cellmark, through their implementation of the MiSeq FGx System, the ForesnSeq DNA Signature Prep Kit, and the Universal Analysis Software means Verogen’s tools will help bring closure to families looking for answers,” Williams added.
The collaboration comes months after Verogen signed a commercial deal with Qiagen, focusing on the development of next-gen forensic biometric identification solutions.
Cellmark was awarded a $5.2 million contract for rapid DNA testing by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement back in 2019.