South San Francisco, California / Houston, Texas – Fluidigm Corporation (NASDAQ:FLDM) and Baylor Genetics today announced that they have entered into a licensing agreement to offer a next-generation sequencing (NGS) library prep assay that enables efficient sequencing of the CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) gene.
Under the agreement, Fluidigm obtains the rights to commercialize the CFTR library prep assay developed by Baylor Genetics for research use with the Juno™ automated microfluidic system. The targeted NGS library prep assay enables accurate identification of variants from each of the 27 exons in the CFTR gene and selected intronic regions. When combined with Fluidigm® microfluidics, this solution has the potential to significantly simplify complex labor-intensive laboratory workflows and improve the efficiency of CFTR sequencing.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a complex multisystem disease that is caused by mutations in the CFTR gene and affects over 70,000 individuals worldwide. Over 2,000 variants have been identified within the CFTR gene. The detection frequency of these variants has been shown to vary by ancestry. Traditional genotyping methods typically focus on a subset of these variants and are limited in their ability to identify less common and new CFTR variants across large, diverse populations.
Next-generation sequencing offers a more comprehensive approach to CFTR genetic analysis by allowing a more complete view of the sequence. Targeted sequencing library prep workflows, however, can be very labor-intensive. With the application of Fluidigm automated microfluidics technology, NGS library preparation can be streamlined to provide significant efficiencies.
“The combination of a rapid, accurate library prep workflow, followed by NGS, has allowed us to create a streamlined, cost-effective approach for CFTR sequencing. We realized the benefit of the microfluidic technology, and our agreement with Fluidigm has allowed us to move forward quickly. Our work with Fluidigm microfluidic technology will help us to further enhance our offerings and capabilities,” said Shashikant Kulkarni, Chief Scientific Officer of Baylor Genetics.
“Baylor Genetics is an industry leader in the development of high-quality genetic assays. We are excited at the opportunity to bring the benefits of this CFTR library prep assay to the larger community,” said Chris Linthwaite, President and CEO of Fluidigm. “This agreement represents a great example of how we are developing an expanding menu of high-value genetic assays for use with Fluidigm microfluidic systems to improve the future of health care.”
About Baylor Genetics
Baylor Genetics has been helping health care providers solve the most complex cases of genetic disease for over 35 years and we are proud to be affiliated with the #1 NIH-funded genetics program at the Baylor College of Medicine. By bridging academic and operational excellence, Baylor Genetics offers the medical community a vast testing menu, the most thorough interpretations, access to experts, and the confidence to provide patients with answers. Baylor Genetics is located in Houston’s Texas Medical Center with over 200 employees and over 3,000 tests available to clients in all 50 states and internationally. Our lab is well-equipped with cutting-edge diagnostic equipment, allowing us to efficiently generate the most accurate clinical genetic data. Through rigorous quality assurance, daily and monthly conferences, and close relationships with clinical partners, Baylor Genetics continuously improves diagnostic precision.
Fluidigm (NASDAQ:FLDM) develops, manufactures, and markets life science analytical and preparatory systems for markets such as mass cytometry, high-throughput genomics, and single‑cell genomics. We sell to leading academic institutions, clinical research laboratories, and pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and agricultural biotechnology companies worldwide. Our systems are based on proprietary microfluidics and multiparameter mass cytometry technology and are designed to significantly simplify experimental workflow, increase throughput, and reduce costs while providing excellent data quality. Fluidigm products are provided for Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.
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Forward-Looking Statement for Fluidigm
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, among others, statements regarding anticipated development of sequencing products and the potential impact of such products. Forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from currently anticipated results, including but not limited to, risks relating to uncertainties in contractual relationships and international regulated markets; challenges inherent in developing, manufacturing, launching, marketing, and selling new products; the uncertain regulatory environment; potential product performance and quality issues; intellectual property risks; competition; interruptions or delays in the supply of components or materials for, or manufacturing of, Fluidigm products; and risks associated with international operations. Information on these and additional risks, uncertainties, and other information affecting Fluidigm business and operating results are contained in Fluidigm’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, and in its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Fluidigm’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2017. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Fluidigm disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements except as may be required by law.
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