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Bionano Genome Imaging Provides Essential Scaffolding Results in High Profile Bat Genome Study

SAN DIEGO, July 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bionano Genomics, Inc. (Nasdaq: BNGO) announced today that a study published in the journal Nature (Jebb, D., Huang, Z., Pippel, M. et al. Six reference-quality genomes reveal evolution of bat adaptations. Nature 583, 578–584 (2020)) used Bionano’s genome imaging technology to build reference-quality genomes of six bat species. The genomes provide evidence that bats can tolerate and survive viral infections much better than other mammals, a trait that is highly relevant in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study was performed as part of the Bat1K global genome consortium in coordination with the Vertebrate Genome Project (VGP).  Bionano’s Saphyr genome imaging system played a key role in constructing the genome assemblies that were studied to understand how bats can carry deadly viruses and yet be unaffected by them. The high quality reference genomes were built by combining sequencing with Bionano data, where Bionano data provided the ground truth for the genome structure and was used as the gold standard for reference genome assembly here as well as in many other recent reference genomes. The team compared these bat genomes against the genomes of 42 other mammals to search for genetic differences between bats and other mammals. They identified genes that were lost or amplified throughout bat evolution, including a series of genes involved in echolocation and immune-related genes, that can help explain bats’ ability to tolerate viral infections. Evidence of many viral infections were found in the genomes as well, in the form of viral genome sequences that were permanently integrated into the bat genome. These reference-quality bat genomes provide the basis for continued research on mechanisms of viral infections across species, such as bats to humans, and for the study of differences in virulence between viruses.

Erik Holmlin, PhD, CEO of Bionano Genomics commented: “Bats are fascinating mammals with some unusual characteristics, but it is their unique role as a reservoir for many viruses that has put these animals in the spotlight. We are proud that the Vertebrate Genome Project and the Bat1K project used Saphyr genome imaging data as the main scaffolding tool to build accurate platinum genomes.  Through its contribution to our understanding of the bat immune system, Bionano’s genomic data continues to contribute to our knowledge of SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 pandemic.”

About Bionano Genomics

Bionano is a genome analysis company providing tools and services based on its Saphyr system to scientists and clinicians conducting genetic research and patient testing. Bionano’s Saphyr system is a platform for ultra-sensitive and ultra-specific structural variation detection that enables researchers and clinicians to accelerate the search for new diagnostics and therapeutic targets and to streamline the study of changes in chromosomes, which is known as cytogenetics. The Saphyr system is comprised of an instrument, chip consumables, reagents and a suite of data analysis tools, and genome analysis services to provide access to data generated by the Saphyr system for researchers who prefer not to adopt the Saphyr system in their labs. For more information, visit www.bionanogenomics.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend” and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions or circumstances) convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes and are intended to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses or current expectations concerning, among other things: the potential ability to understand bat’s ability to tolerate viral infections; and Bionano’s contribution to understandings of the bat immune system and broader knowledge regarding COVID-19. Each of these forward-looking statements involves risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected or implied in these forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause such a difference include the risks and uncertainties associated with: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and the global economy; general market conditions; changes in the competitive landscape and the introduction of competitive products; changes in our strategic and commercial plans; our ability to obtain sufficient financing to fund our strategic plans and commercialization efforts; the loss of key members of management and our commercial team; and the risks and uncertainties associated with our business and financial condition in general, including the risks and uncertainties described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 and in other filings subsequently made by us with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made and are based on management's assumptions and estimates as of such date. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of the receipt of new information, the occurrence of future events or otherwise.

CONTACTS
Company Contact:
Erik Holmlin, CEO
Bionano Genomics, Inc.
+1 (858) 888-7610
eholmlin@bionanogenomics.com

Investor Relations Contact:
Ashley R. Robinson
LifeSci Advisors, LLC
+1 (617) 430-7577
arr@lifesciadvisors.com

Media Contact:
Kirsten Thomas
The Ruth Group
+1 (508) 280-6592
kthomas@theruthgroup.com

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