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Partners HealthCare and Affymetrix Sign Agreement to Accelerate Personalized Medicine

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Affymetrix Inc. and Partners HealthCare announced that they have extended their translational research collaboration with a new Contract Array Manufacturing (CAM) supply agreement, enabling Partners researchers to transform recent microarray discoveries into fully validated, laboratory-developed molecular diagnostic tests. The array-based tests will help physicians better diagnose and tailor treatments for individual patients.

Under the terms of the CAM agreement, Affymetrix will create custom microarrays based on the recent discovery data from Partners researchers. The arrays will be used to produce molecular diagnostic tests, which will then be validated and implemented in Partners HealthCare’s CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments)-certified environments.

The team at Partners will begin focusing on array-based tests for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and will explore many indications in a large number of diseases.

“The collaboration with Affymetrix allows us to bring complex genetic and genomic testing into clinical practice, helping physicians make appropriate clinical decisions,” said Raju Kucherlapati, scientific director of Harvard Medical School-Partners HealthCare Center for Genetics and Genomics (HPCGG).

“Affymetrix GeneChip® technologies enable us to bring complex genetic/genomic tests in a cost-effective manner to the patients.”

The latest agreement builds on the success of the parties’ translational research collaboration. For the past year, researchers at Harvard Medical School (HMS), Partners HealthCare and HPCGG have been using the Affymetrix technology to identify genetic sequences and signatures associated with a number of complex diseases. The clinically relevant data will now be used to develop the molecular diagnostic tests.

Affymetrix’ GeneChip microarray platform can offer a number of benefits and advantages for developing and implementing molecular diagnostic tests. The array format enables researchers to analyze more genetic content per test, and the proven GeneChip® system is the only microarray instrumentation platform cleared for use in molecular diagnostic laboratories in both the U.S. and European Union, the companies say.

“For the past year, the team at Partners Healthcare has been paving the road to personalized medicine by demonstrating how to transform genetic discoveries into fully validated laboratory developed diagnostic tests,” said Fred Pollock, director, strategic business and translational medicine at Affymetrix.

“Affymetrix technology continues to improve patient care by helping physicians around the world to better classify, manage and treat complex diseases.”