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Partners HealthCare and Affymetrix Collaborate to Develop Microarray Diagnostics

Partners HealthCare and Affymetrix Collaborate to Develop Microarray Diagnostics

Partners HealthCare and Affymetrix Collaborate to Develop Microarray Diagnostics

Partners HealthCare and Affymetrix Collaborate to Develop Microarray Diagnostics

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Affymetrix Inc. and Partners HealthCare have announced that they have entered into a three-year translational research collaboration to develop microarray-based diagnostics for complex diseases such as newborn hearing loss, autism and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Under the terms of the agreement, Partners researchers at Harvard Medical School (HMS), Partners HealthCare and Harvard Medical School-Partners HealthCare Center for Genetics and Genomics (HPCGG) will create and validate microarray tests in Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) laboratories.

"This collaboration with Affymetrix will allow us to better translate innovations and research discoveries at Partners into highly valuable clinical diagnostic tests and technologies that will improve patient management and care," said Trung Do, executive director of business development at Partners HealthCare.

Over the past decade, there have been hundreds of microarray studies - expression and genotyping - with potential diagnostic implications.

However, these discoveries have rarely translated into validated diagnostic tests. Researchers at HPCGG will now be able to validate their discovery data in an easily accessible CLIA environment.

Scientists will use Affymetrix GeneChip® genotyping, resequencing and expression technologies in the CLIA lab to more rapidly apply RNA and DNA patterns in tests that can better classify, manage and treat complex diseases.

"Many of the health problems being tackled by today's medicine are multifaceted and complex," said Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D., professor of Genetics at HMS and scientific director of HPCGG.

"One way to address these challenges is through technology, making it possible for us to develop tests for both complex and multiple genetic disorders."

"These tests will be available throughout the Partners community at substantially reduced cost to researchers."

"We are delighted to be working with one of the leading organizations in personalized healthcare to help accelerate the translation of genetic research," said Fred Pollock, associate director of translational medicine at Affymetrix.

"By offering the Affymetrix microarray-based diagnostics and screening tests in CLIA environments, we can help physicians deliver more effective personalized treatments that have received the appropriate validation and clearance."

Affymetrix and HPCGG estimate that it may take a year to develop the first chip-based diagnostic test for use in HPCGG's CLIA-approved lab.

The CLIA-validated tests will first be offered to patients in the Partners HealthCare System.

Affymetrix collaborates with academic institutions, advocacy groups, and the pharmaceutical and diagnostics community through its Translational Medicine Program to develop molecular signatures for improving patient care.

Affymetrix GeneChip microarray technology is designed to help researchers to diagnose and tailor treatments for individual patients by identifying and measuring the genetic information associated with complex diseases.

The Translational Medicine Program complements the Powered by Affymetrix™ program, which enables companies to license GeneChip technology to create innovative custom-designed microarray products based on signatures such as those of our Translational Medicine partners.

This technology is already being used in many applications, including diagnostics, forensics, animal, industrial and food testing.