InnoGenomics’ novel technology is scalable across a wide range of applications including forensic and missing person identification, relationship and ancestral ethno-geographic establishment, and molecular diagnostics.

Advances in the Use of Retrotransposable Elements

With the support of National Science Foundation SBIR grants, our experienced scientists have made significant advances relating to the analysis of Retrotransposable Elements (REs), which are non-coding genomic DNA repeat sequences, or “mobile insertion elements,” comprising approximately 40% of the human genome.1 REs have been well characterized, but their practical utility as informative biomarkers has been severely limited until now due to the large size of the insertions, leading to difficult multiplexing challenges and poor PCR efficiency.

A novel "mini-primer" design invented by InnoGenomics reduces the overall amplicon size as well as the difference in amplicon sizes between the two allelic states. The resulting allelic amplicons can now be designed to differ by as little as 1 base pair, with substantially reduced size (much smaller than STR markers commonly used in forensics), such that substantially degraded and/or low level samples can now be typed.

Figure 1. Novel “mini-primer” design. a) A common forward primer (FC) is used for both insertion and null alleles. A fluorescently labeled ‘null-specific’ reverse primer (RN) straddles the insertion site of the RE and anneals in the absence of the RE. b) In instances where the RE is present, the annealing site of the reverse primer is disrupted, and the ‘insertion-specific’ reverse primer (RI) anneals at the site that overlaps with the insertion site and the adjacent portion of the RE.1

Utilizing this primer design innovation and other advancements, InnoGenomics has developed highly informative RE-based PCR and Real-Time qPCR assays that offer exceptional sensitivity, reproducibility and robustness. These assays are accurate, rapid, cost-effective and compatible with widely used, validated laboratory instrumentation. This technology can also be adapted for use on “field deployable” Rapid DNA instruments, Point-of-Care diagnostic systems and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) platforms.

Intellectual Property

InnoGenomics owns and licenses multiple patents, and has several pending that enable successful development and worldwide commercialization of its genomic testing solutions.


1 LaRue et al., INNULs: A Novel Design Amplification Strategy for Retrotransposable Elements for Studying Population Variation. Hum Hered 2012;74:27–35.