The non-exclusive, worldwide license is for a number of Affymetrix patents related to the use of microarrays for comparative genomic hybridization analysis.
The license will be applied to Signature Genomics' SignatureChip® microarray-based diagnostics for cytogenetic abnormalities.
Signature Genomics has demonstrated the effectiveness of array-based cytogenetics using its proprietary SignatureChip to identify chromosome abnormalities in infants and children with birth defects, developmental delay, or mental retardation.
However, the resolution through the light microscope limits the ability to identify small alterations of the chromosomes. This limitation is overcome by using a microarray-based approach.
The SignatureChip contains 140 regions of the genome known to cause genetic syndromes, birth defects or mental retardation if present in an unbalanced state.
Furthermore, the SignatureChip contains 164 additional regions of the genome as a set of controls to provide increased coverage of the genome and clinical confidence in the results.
"The license from Affymetrix, Inc. provides us with the ability to increase the genomic coverage of our microarray, allowing us to continue to offer the most comprehensive clinical diagnostic microarray on the market," said Lisa G. Shaffer, PhD, FACMG, acting CEO and Laboratory Director of Signature Genomics.
"Microarray-based diagnostics are the future of clinical testing, and utilizing this technology for chromosome analysis is no exception," said Bassem A. Bejjani, MD, FACMG, Medical Director of Signature Genomics.
"With 1 in 800 persons affected with a chromosome disorder, Signature Genomics developed this new technology to provide faster, more reliable and comprehensive results to enhance the clinical care to patients," he added.