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Applications

Apostle technologies have been applied in many world-class R&D studies and clinical laboratory settings.

This page lists some of the examples.

For a complete list of applications citing Apostle technologies, see Publications

Apostle MiniMax Technology in Colon Cancer Detection and Post-Surgical Monitoring

Efficient detection and post-surgical monitoring of colon cancer with a multi-marker DNA methylation liquid biopsy.

Jin et al. PNAS February 2, 2021 118 (5) e2017421118; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2017421118 

Multiplex assays, involving the simultaneous use of multiple circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) markers, can improve the performance of liquid biopsies so that they are highly predictive of cancer recurrence. We have developed a single-tube methylation-specific quantitative PCR assay (mqMSP) that uses 10 different methylation markers and is capable of quantitative analysis of plasma samples with as little as 0.05% tumor DNA. In a cohort of 179 plasma samples from colorectal cancer (CRC) patients, adenoma patients, and healthy controls, the sensitivity and specificity of the mqMSP assay were 84.9% and 83.3%, respectively. In a head-to-head comparative study, the mqMSP assay also performed better for detecting early-stage (stage I and II) and premalignant polyps than a published SEPT9 assay. In an independent longitudinal cohort of 182 plasma samples (preoperative, postoperative, and follow-up) from 82 CRC patients, the mqMSP assay detected ctDNA in 73 (89.0%) of the preoperative plasma samples. Postoperative detection of ctDNA (within 2 wk of surgery) identified 11 of the 20 recurrence patients and was associated with poorer recurrence-free survival (hazard ratio, 4.20; P = 0.0005). With subsequent longitudinal monitoring, 14 patients (70%) had detectable ctDNA before recurrence, with a median lead time of 8.0 mo earlier than seen with radiologic imaging. The mqMSP assay is cost-effective and easily implementable for routine clinical monitoring of CRC recurrence, which can lead to better patient management after surgery. 

Plasma DNA extraction was performed using 2 to 5 mL of plasma with the Apostle MiniMax High-Efficiency cfDNA Isolation Kit, according to the product manual. 

Apostle MiniMax Technology in HIV Research

Safety and tolerability of AAV8 delivery of a broadly neutralizing antibody in adults living with HIV: a phase 1, dose-escalation trial.

Casazza et al. Nature Medicine. April 11, 2022 

Adeno-associated viral vector-mediated transfer of DNA coding for broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies (bnAbs) offers an alternative to attempting to induce protection by vaccination or by repeated infusions of bnAbs. In this study, we administered a recombinant bicistronic adeno-associated virus (AAV8) vector coding for both the light and heavy chains of the potent broadly neutralizing HIV-1 antibody VRC07 (AAV8-VRC07) to eight adults living with HIV. All participants remained on effective anti-retroviral therapy (viral load (VL) <50 copies per milliliter) throughout this phase 1, dose-escalation clinical trial (NCT03374202). AAV8-VRC07 was given at doses of 5 × 1010, 5 × 1011 and 2.5 × 1012 vector genomes per kilogram by intramuscular (IM) injection. Primary endpoints of this study were to assess the safety and tolerability of AAV8-VRC07; to determine the pharmacokinetics and immunogenicity of in vivo VRC07 production; and to describe the immune response directed against AAV8-VRC07 vector and its products. Secondary endpoints were to assess the clinical effects of AAV8-VRC07 on CD4 T cell count and VL and to assess the persistence of VRC07 produced in participants. In this cohort, IM injection of AAV8-VRC07 was safe and well tolerated. No clinically significant change in CD4 T cell count or VL occurred during the 1–3 years of follow-up reported here. In participants who received AAV8-VRC07, concentrations of VRC07 were increased 6 weeks (P = 0.008) and 52 weeks (P = 0.016) after IM injection of the product. All eight individuals produced measurable amounts of serum VRC07, with maximal VRC07 concentrations >1 µg ml−1 in three individuals. In four individuals, VRC07 serum concentrations remained stable near maximal concentration for up to 3 years of follow-up. In exploratory analyses, neutralizing activity of in vivo produced VRC07 was similar to that of in vitro produced VRC07. Three of eight participants showed a non-idiotypic anti-drug antibody (ADA) response directed against the Fab portion of VRC07. This ADA response appeared to decrease the production of serum VRC07 in two of these three participants. These data represent a proof of concept that adeno-associated viral vectors can durably produce biologically active, difficult-to-induce bnAbs in vivo, which could add valuable new tools to the fight against infectious diseases.

...

AAV8-VRC07 vector DNA quantitation. Plasma AAV8-VRC07 plasmid DNA was measured by extracting DNA from plasma, concentrating and then using a real-time PCR assay to measure a 103 base sequence spanning the junction of the IgG heavy chain sequence and F2A insert. DNA was extracted from serum using an Apostle MiniMax High Efficiency cfDNA Isolation Kit, following the manufacturer’s protocol with slight modification.

Apostle MiniMax Technology in Rectal Cancer Response prediction and risk stratification

Response prediction and risk stratification of patients with rectal cancer after neoadjuvant therapy through an analysis of circulating tumour DNA.

Liu W, Li Y, et al. EBioMedicine March 17, 2022; https://www.thelancet.com/journals/ebiom/article/PIIS2352-3964(22)00129-3/fulltext

Background - Multiple approaches based on cell-free DNA (cfDNA) have been applied to detect minimal residual disease (MRD) and to predict prognosis or recurrence. However, a comparison of the approaches used in different cohorts and studies is difficult. We aimed to compare multiple approaches for MRD analysis after neoadjuvant therapy (NAT) in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC).

Methods - Sixty patients with LARC from a multicentre, phase II/III randomized trial were included, with tissue and blood samples collected. For each cfDNA sample, we profiled MRD using 3 approaches: personalized assay targeting tumour-informed mutations, universal panel of genes frequently mutated in colorectal cancer (CRC), and low depth sequencing for copy number alterations (CNAs).

Findings - Positive MRD based on post-NAT personalized assay was significantly associated with an increased risk of recurrence (HR = 27.38; log-rank P < 0.0001). MRD analysis based on universal panel (HR = 5.18; log-rank P = 0.00086) and CNAs analysis (HR = 9.24; log-rank P = 0.00017) showed a compromised performance in predicting recurrence. Both the personalized assay and universal panel showed complementary pattern to CNAs analysis in detecting cases with recurrence and the combination of the two types of biomarkers may lead to better performance.

Interpretation - The combination of mutation profiling and CNA profiling can improve the detection of MRD, which may help optimize the treatment strategies for patients with LARC.

cfDNA was extracted from 1.5-4.5 mL of plasma with the Apostle MiniMax cfDNA isolation kit (C40605, Apostle; San Jose, CA, USA). 

Apostle MiniGenomics Technology in Stool DNA Isolation and Colorectal Cancer Testing

BGI’s Three Complementary Kits of Colorectal Cancer Testing Have Been CE Marked.

BGI.  July 13, 2021

BGI Genomics announces that its Stool Sample Collection Kit, DNA Isolation Kit together with Sample Pretreatment Kit for Methylation Detection have been CE marked.

All three kits are used in conjunction with the previously CE marked Colorectal Cancer Testing Product which can detect the methylation of SDC2, ADHFE1 and PPP2R5C genes in human fecal samples.

According to the Global Cancer 2020 (GLOBOCAN) statistics, there are about 19.3 million new cases of colorectal cancer each year, accounting for 10 percent of all new cancer cases. About 935,000 colorectal cancer deaths occur each year, accounting for 9.4 percent of all cancer deaths.

So far, BGI has obtained CE mark for all four products used in the colorectal cancer detection workflow, from sample collection, DNA extraction, DNA pre-treatment to methylation detection, providing customers with reliable and standardized reagents and services.

(Note: Apostle is the Original Equipment Manufacturer or OEM for the Stool DNA Isolation Kit mentioned in this news. Apostle 's branded product is called Apostle MiniGenomics Stool Fast Kit.)

Apostle MiniMax Technology in Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing

Segmental duplication as potential biomarkers for non-invasive prenatal testing of aneuploidies.

Chen et al. EBioMedicine August 11, 2021; https://www.thelancet.com/journals/ebiom/article/PIIS2352-3964(21)00328-5/fulltext

We developed a computational program whereby available SD regions can be processed and analyzed efficiently for their potential use as biomarkers of the aneuploidy of interest. For the five common aneuploidies, i.e., trisomy 13, 18, 21, and two sex chromosome aneuploidies, a total of 21,772 candidate SD biomarker sequences together with their corresponding primer/probe sets were generated. The primer/probe sets were tested using a real-time PCR-based multicolour melting curve analysis for simultaneous detection of the five common aneuploidies, and yielded 100% clinical sensitivity and 99.64% specificity when subjected to a clinical evaluation. Following the observations that the SD biomarkers for aneuploidy could be better detected by digital PCR with improved accuracy, we established a noninvasive prenatal testing protocol for trisomy 21 and attained 100% concordance with next generation sequencing.

Our study confirmed that SD regions are preferred biomarkers for aneuploidy detection and in particular SD-based digital PCR could find potential use for NIPT of trisomy. A similar strategy can be applied to other chromosomal abnormality and genetic disorders.

The cfDNA was isolated from 1 mL of each plasma sample by the Apostle MiniMax™ High Efficiency cfDNA Isolation Kit (Apostle Inc, San Jose, CA) in line with the manufacturer's instructions.

Apostle MiniEnrich Technology in Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing

High-resolution DNA size enrichment using a magnetic nano-platform and application in non-invasive prenatal testing.  

Zhang et al. Analyst.  July 2020, 145, 5733-5739  (PDF)

Precise DNA sizing can boost sequencing efficiency, reduce cost, improve data quality, and even allow sequencing of low-input samples, while current pervasive DNA sizing approaches are incapable of differentiating DNA fragments under 200 bp with high resolution (<20 bp). In non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), the size distribution of cell-free fetal DNA in maternal plasma (main peak at 143 bp) is significantly different from that of maternal cell-free DNA (main peak at 166 bp). The current pervasive workflow of NIPT and DNA sizing is unable to take advantage of this 20 bp difference, resulting in sample rejection, test inaccuracy, and restricted clinical utility. Here we report a simple, automatable, high-resolution DNA size enrichment workflow, named MiniEnrich, on a magnetic nano-platform to exploit this 20 bp size difference and to enrich fetal DNA fragments from maternal blood. Two types of magnetic nanoparticles were developed, with one able to filter high-molecular-weight DNA with high resolution and the other able to recover the remaining DNA fragments under the size threshold of interest with >95% yield. Using this method, the average fetal fraction was increased from 13% to 20% after the enrichment, as measured by plasma DNA sequencing. This approach provides a new tool for high-resolution DNA size enrichment under 200 bp, which may improve NIPT accuracy by rescuing rejected non-reportable clinical samples, and enable NIPT earlier in pregnancy. It also has the potential to improve non-invasive screening for fetal monogenic disorders, differentiate tumor-related DNA in liquid biopsy and find more applications in autoimmune disease diagnosis.

Apostle MiniMax Technology in Early Gender Prediction

The SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test

SneakPeek by Gateway Genomics was founded with the goal to make DNA-based prenatal and pediatric information accessible and affordable for parents everywhere.

The SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test is designed to specifically focus on fetal sex and return just one answer – male or female. This enables the test to be run on magnitudes smaller volumes of blood than the typical non-invasive prenatal test. When maternal blood samples arrive at SneakPeek Labs, extracted cell-free fetal DNA is run through real-time quantitative PCR to detect with a sensitivity down to a single Y chromosome. If Y chromosomes are found, the result is a boy. If they are absent, the baby is a girl. The test is run in 3 hours with 99.9% accuracy¹.

The SneakPeek Early Traits DNA Test lets parents find out what their infant or child will look like as an adult, predicted nutrition levels and sleep behavior. The DNA collection process is simple with a rub of the inner cheek using a swab, no blood samples are required for this test making it easy for parents. When the DNA samples arrive at SneakPeek Labs, genotyping method is used to analyze the differences in DNA and determine which traits an individual may have as a result.

(Note: Apostle is a technological product provider to SneakPeek by Gateway Genomics). 

¹In a recent large-scale study, SneakPeek accurately determined fetal sex in 99.9% of 1,029 pregnant women between 7-37 weeks gestational age. In a separate clinical study run in 2021, SneakPeek accurately determined fetal sex in 75 out of 75 pregnant women at 7 weeks into pregnancy. 

Apostle MiniGenomics and MagTouch Technologies in COVID-19 Testing

Apostle COVID-19 RNA Extraction System Applied in the Effective Detection of SARS-CoV-2

Ed. Horner S. Application Note.

The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic started in late 2019. COVID-19 is the result of severe acute respiratory syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus contraction. COVID-19 is often accompanied by a wide range of symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The SARS-CoV-2 virus consists of a ~30 kb RNA genome encoding for 15 proteins, including the spike protein that enables the virus to enter host cells. The current gold standard qualitative detection method, qRT-PCR, reverse transcribes the viral RNA into cDNA, which is subsequently amplified and quantitated.

This application note illustrates the effective detection of SARS-CoV-2 using the Apostle COVID-19 Viral RNA Isolation Automation System and qRT-PCR in clinical lab settings. This system uses efficient MiniGenomics magnetic nanoparticle technology for fast extraction and purification of viral nucleic acids from various types of biological samples collected in transport media. The proficient and consistent systems provide reliable test results to individuals that contribute to COVID-19 pandemic relief.

To date, our clients have processed more than 10 million swabs in various CAP/CLIA clinical labs in the United States. 

“Apostle COVID-19 RNA Extraction System is a fast and reliable solution for SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA extraction. We look forward to continuing the collaboration with Apostle and providing high quality COVID-19 tests for our community.” commented by Harry Gao, MD, PhD, DABMG, FACMG, Lab Director and Chief Scientific Officer of Fulgent Genetics.

Included in: FDA EUA Summary: Fulgent COVID-19 by RT-PCR TEST(FULGENT THERAPEUTICS).  For In vitro Diagnostic Use. Rx Only. For use under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) only. US FDA. April 12, 2021. 

Apostle MiniMax Technology in Cardiovascular Research

Electronic Cigarettes Induce Mitochondrial DNA Damage and Trigger TLR9 (Toll-Like Receptor 9)-Mediated Atherosclerosis. 

Li et al.  Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2021;41:839–853

Objective:

Electronic cigarette (e-cig) use has recently been implicated in promoting atherosclerosis. In this study, we aimed to investigate the mechanism of e-cig exposure accelerated atherosclerotic lesion development.

Approach and Results:

Eight-week-old ApoE−/− mice fed normal laboratory diet were exposed to e-cig vapor (ECV) for 2 hours/day, 5 days/week for 16 weeks. We found that ECV exposure significantly induced atherosclerotic lesions as examined by Oil Red O staining and greatly upregulated TLR9 (toll-like receptor 9) expression in classical monocytes and in the atherosclerotic plaques, which the latter was corroborated by enhanced TLR9 expression in human femoral artery atherosclerotic plaques from e-cig smokers. Intriguingly, we found a significant increase of oxidative mitochondria DNA lesion in the plasma of ECV-exposed mice. Administration of TLR9 antagonist before ECV exposure not only alleviated atherosclerosis and the upregulation of TLR9 in plaques but also attenuated the increase of plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines, reduced the plaque accumulation of lipid and macrophages, and decreased the frequency of blood CCR2+ (C-C chemokine receptor type 2) classical monocytes. Surprisingly, we found that cytoplasmic mitochondrial DNA isolated from ECV extract-treated macrophages can enhance TLR9 activation in reporter cells and the induction of inflammatory cytokine could be suppressed by TLR9 inhibitor in macrophages.

Conclusions:

E-cig increases level of damaged mitochondrial DNA in circulating blood and induces the expression of TLR9, which elevate the expression of proinflammatory cytokines in monocyte/macrophage and consequently lead to atherosclerosis. Our results raise the possibility that intervention of TLR9 activation is a potential pharmacological target of ECV-related inflammation and cardiovascular diseases.

Mice plasma was first centrifuged at 16 000×g for 10 minutes at 4 °C, and the supernatant was subjected to cell-free DNA (cfDNA) extraction using Apostle minimax cfDNA extraction kit (ApostleBio, CA). 

For a complete list of publications citing Apostle technologies, see Publications

A recent independent study conducted by scientists from Johns Hopkins University and University of Pittsburgh, published in a peer-reviewed journal SLAS Technology, demonstrated that, "(Figure 4) Most notably, the Apostle particles outperformed all others, achieving almost 2-fold higher recovery yields than the particles supplied in the X kit". Read the article