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Sequenom Launches Analysis Service Business for DNA Methylation and Gene Expression

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Sequenom, Inc. has announced the introduction of its DNA methylation and quantitative gene expression (QGE) analysis service business, providing researchers with an application to obtain critical information for disease detection and classification.

This service was unveiled at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 55th Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City.

DNA methylation is an important mechanism of gene regulation (gene expression) and has a broad impact on many areas including prenatal genetic analysis and cancer research.

The Company believes its approach in applying its proprietary iPLEX™ multiplexing assay with quantitative methylation profiling and QGE analysis is about five times more cost effective for large-scale use than competing technologies.

The launch of the service function allows researchers worldwide to access the MassARRAY® solution for the quantitative analysis and profiling of DNA methylation and gene expression.

Sequenom also intends to launch DNA methylation and QGE, available to all MassARRAY system customers in the first quarter of 2006.

“Based on the quality and cost effectiveness of the data generated by our new applications during beta site testing, the initial response from the genetic/disease research community to our DNA methylation and QGE analysis capabilities is positive and promising,” stated Charles Cantor, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Sequenom.

“We believe our MassARRAY genetic analysis platform is uniquely able to provide precise quantitative methylation and gene expression analysis, in addition to accurate SNP fine mapping studies, all on one system.”

“Combined with iPLEX's cost effectiveness, we believe Sequenom will have a powerful cost competitive advantage. Since methylation regulates for gene expression, the ability to analyze both biomarkers on a single platform is a significant technological advantage.”

“Sequenom is in a strong position to enter the emerging market of DNA methylation and quantitative gene expression analysis initially with a service offering,” commented Harry Stylli, MBA, Ph.D., President and CEO at Sequenom.

“The DNA methylation and quantitative gene expression service capability should enable us to reach new prospective customers and help accelerate our sales cycle by supporting feasibility studies.”

“We intend to make these important applications available as products for the MassARRAY system by Q1 2006. We expect to continue to evolve these products as our customers' new needs emerge.”

“We have evaluated the MassARRAY system for methylation analysis and found that its MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry can accomplish quantitative methylation profiling of multiple target genes and gene regions as well as highly accurate quantification of individual CpG sites,” said Dr. Ragoussis.

“The implementation of robust high-throughput quantitative methylation profiling methods is paramount for a better understanding of the role of epigenetic contributions to disease and disease progression.”