First Criminal Conviction Secured with Next-Gen Forensic DNA Technology
DNA profiles generated on a MiSeq® system were
critical evidence in landmark Dutch case.
SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#DNA—Verogen
announced today that its DNA sequencing technology played a pivotal role
in a recent court case in the Netherlands. This marks the first time
that evidence generated with so-called “next generation” or massively
parallel sequencing (MPS) has been used to secure a conviction in
criminal courts of law.
The defendant in the case was initially acquitted of sexual assault
charges due to inconclusive DNA results generated with older technology.
The prosecutor was granted an appeal, however, that allowed re-testing
of the remaining biological evidence with contemporary MPS methods. The
additional testing, conducted by Dutch forensic experts at Leiden
University Medical Center (LUMC) using the MiSeq®
sequencing system, yielded “highly informative DNA profiles,” according
to Professor Peter de Knijff at LUMC.
“Using the MiSeq we obtained a great deal more useful data, which proved
extremely valuable as evidence in the case,” said Prof. de Knijff. “We
could only have obtained these results using this sequencing platform.”
Prof. de Knijff is considered a pioneer in the forensic use of MPS,
which has already been widely implemented in other biological
disciplines. For a number of years, Prof. de Knijff and other scientific
leaders have argued that MPS offers significant advantages compared to
the older methods commonly used in forensic laboratories. This recent
court verdict supports that perspective.
“This is an important milestone for acceptance of this technology as a
powerful forensic tool,” said Brett Williams, Verogen CEO. “Verogen is
extremely proud to partner with leading forensic institutes like LUMC to
assist the criminal justice system in developing or refuting genetic
Verogen, Inc. was established in 2017 to develop, sell and support
forensic assays and software on Illumina sequencing platforms such as
The adjudication of this case is yet another sign of the accelerating
global adoption of this technology in forensic laboratories. For
example, the United
States FBI recently approved Verogen’s technology for use by
forensic laboratories generating DNA profiles for upload to the U.S.
National DNA Index System (NDIS). This follows acceptance of DNA results
using Verogen’s MPS technology by the national DNA databases of France
and the Netherlands.
Also, Cellmark Forensic Services and Verogen recently announced
a collaboration to make next-gen forensic DNA testing available to
law enforcement in the United Kingdom (UK).
With these developments, many more difficult criminal cases are expected
to be solved and adjudicated in the near future.
About Forensic Laboratory for DNA Research (FLDO) at Leiden
University Medical Center (LUMC)
Since 1994, the Forensic Laboratory for DNA Research (FLDO), has
operated as an independent forensic DNA laboratory as part of the
Department of Human Genetics at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC).
The FLDO performs forensic DNA research, and pioneers new technologies.
In the past, it has played a major role in introducing Y-STRs and
developing a sensitive method to extract DNA from (parts of) ammunition.
Since 2008, the FLDO became involved in introducing MPS methods in order
to genotype STR markers. In 2015, the FLDO was the first forensic
laboratory to receive an ISO-17025 accreditation for this new technique.
Since 2015, MPS-STR techniques have been used in many (mainly cold)
About Verogen, Inc.
Verogen is committed
to public safety and justice for all. Headquartered in the San Diego
area, the company serves those who pursue the truth using genetic tools.
Powered by gold standard Illumina sequencing technology and working in
partnership with forensic laboratories, Verogen is advancing science to
unlock the true potential of forensic genomics. For more information,
For Research, Forensic and Paternity Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic
Jonathan Tabak – Director, Market Development
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