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VelaDx Signs Agreement with Life Technologies to Develop IVD Tests on Ion PGM Sequencer

Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Last Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
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Semiconductor sequencing brings unprecedented power to diagnostic tests to transform personalized medicine.

Vela Diagnostics to leverage fast-selling Ion PGM Sequencer to capture untapped global market for fast, simple, affordable sequencing-based diagnostics.

Life Technologies Corporation and VelaDx have entered into a license and supply agreement that will give VelaDx rights to develop and market next generation sequencing-based, in vitro diagnostic tests on the Ion Personal Genome Machine™ (PGM™) platform.  VelaDx will seek approvals from global regulatory authorities for clinical diagnostic tests in oncology and infectious disease.

Vela Diagnostics chose the Ion PGM™ System because of its speed, simplicity and flexibility, and because it's complementary to Vela's Sentosa™ workflow and its menu of qPCR assay kits. Both Ion's PGM™ and Vela's Sentosa™ systems can operate on a menu of single-indication tests or multiple-indication panels that can easily be implemented in virtually any laboratory. A seamless, bi-directional data communication with laboratory information systems between the Ion PGM™ and Sentosa™ systems will maintain the accuracy of data and improve the efficiency of the laboratory workflow.

"Our agreement with Life Technologies puts Vela Diagnostics at the cutting edge position in medicine," said Vela CEO, Michael Tillmann. "The Ion PGM™ System will support Vela's strategy to improve laboratory efficiency and bring new innovative tests to our customers to help improve treatment decisions for patients."

Target markets addressed by VelaDx are attractive and growing quickly.

A recent PiperJaffray report estimates the current infectious disease market to be  $2 billion annually and growing by more than 8 percent.  United Health Group predicts the genetic testing market will grow to $25 billion by 2021.

"Semiconductor sequencing is a transformative technology that can make diagnostic tests faster — a one-day turnaround — and more informative, helping doctors around the world save lives and make personalized medicine a reality," said Ion Torrent President and COO Gregg Fergus. "The founders and management team at Vela Diagnostics have a proven track record of first-mover success in the diagnostic marketplace and are ideal partners to introduce tests in the important clinical areas they have licensed."

The Ion PGM™ Sequencer uses a completely novel sequencing technology that directly translates the language of chemistry into the binary language of computers on a semiconductor chip. This new approach has democratized sequencing, making it far more accessible than ever before. The system can perform a sequencing run in just 90 minutes and automated sample prep makes it easy for a lab technician of any experience level to operate. The cost of the Ion PGM™ System is just a fraction of other systems and accuracy is at a Q30 quality level, both of which are helping to rapidly drive adoption. More than 1,000 units were sold in the system's first 18 months on the market.  Life Technologies plans to seek clearance for the Ion PGM System from the FDA as well as approval from other global regulatory agencies."

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