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Immucor Collaborates with Sirona Genomics

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Immucor, Inc. has announced its collaboration with Sirona Genomics. Under the terms of the agreement, Immucor will provide development funding to support the commercialization of Sirona's HLA typing sample preparation and bioinformatics offering that uses leading NGS instruments. As part of this agreement, Immucor retains an exclusive option to acquire the company.

"For more than 20 years, Immucor's LIFECODES business has been committed to advancing transplant medicine through the introduction of innovative products that raise the standard of care," stated William A. Hawkins, Immucor's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our collaboration with Sirona represents the next innovation for the HLA industry - whole gene NGS that better matches patients and donors to improve health outcomes. We look forward to supporting Sirona to make this offering a reality."

"Sirona Genomics is excited to be working with Immucor, a leader in transplantation diagnostics, to commercialize our HLA typing NGS solution," stated Michael Mindrinos, Ph.D., President of Sirona and one of its founders. "Our HLA typing solution will provide accurate, complete coverage of all major HLA gene regions. Our integrated offering will enable customers to move from sample to result in a fully automated fashion that supports efficient lab workflow."

"The Sirona HLA typing products provide the most complete picture of the HLA that I have seen," stated Marcelo Fernández-Viña, Ph.D, Professor for the Department of Pathology at Stanford University Medical School, co-Director of the Histocompatibility, Immunogenetics and Disease Profiling Laboratory at Stanford University and one of Sirona's founders. "Sirona's use of clonal template amplification in vitro eliminates virtually all ambiguity assignments that are associated with sequencing heterozygous DNA by other methodologies as the long read lengths that are sequenced are able to cover entire exons in phase. The complete gene coverage permits the inspection of known and novel variants that may determine phenotype expression and eliminates inferences and assumptions that are made with the HLA methodologies currently used. In turn, the novel methodology permits the clinician to assess accurately the match grades between patients and their donors in allogeneic transplantation."

Sirona's technology was initially supported by research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to SGTC Director, Ronald Davis, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry and Genetics and to Mark Davis, Ph.D., Director of Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, both founders of Sirona, as well as research grants from The Defense Threat Reduction Agency to Dr. Mindrinos, former Associate Director of the SGTC.