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Courtagen Acquires Medicinal Genomics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Courtagen Life Sciences today said that it has acquired Medicinal Genomics, a Marblehead, Mass.-based firm that has sequenced the genome of Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica.

Medicinal Genomics has been researching the genomics and medical use of cannabis. The firm's founder and CEO, Kevin McKernan, has joined Courtagen as chief scientific officer. Woburn, Mass.-based Courtagen is headed by his two brothers, CEO Brian McKernan and President Brendan McKernan. The three brothers were founders of Agencourt Bioscience, which was sold to Beckman Coulter in 2005, and Agencourt Personal Genomics, which was sold to Applied Biosystems the following year.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

"We believe that Kevin's groundbreaking work at Medicinal Genomics is completely aligned with Courtagen's objective of turning sophisticated genomics into tools that will provide real clinical utility," Brian McKernan said in a statement.

Last summer, Medicinal Genomics said that it had sequenced the genomes of two cannabis strains using Roche 454 Life Sciences' platform.

Medicinal Genomics will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Courtagen and will continue to apply next-generation sequencing technologies to better understand and elucidate the medical properties of Cannabis.

For more on Courtagen's plans for the clinical sequencing market, see GenomeWeb Daily News sister publication.