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Genomic Solutions Invests in Optical Biochip Company, Licenses Chips

NEW YORK, May 2 – Genomic Solutions has invested in optical biochip startup Photonic Sensor and has licensed the company’s biochips, the companies said Wednesday.  

Under the agreement, Genomic Solutions has made a staged equity investment that gives it the right to acquire up to 19.9 percent ownership in Photonic Sensor, which makes biochips that rely on interferometer technology.  

The two have also signed a licensing agreement that gives Genomic Solutions the worldwide exclusive rights to use and distribute the photonic biochips in life sciences.  

Genomic Solutions and Photonic Sensor plan to co-develop the biochips and related consumables for SNP detection, gene expression, protein-protein interactions, and 2D protein separations.  

“Integrated optical  biochips will greatly improve automation, sensitivity, and reproducibility of results,” Greg Kinch, Genomic Solutions vice president of business development, said in a statement. “In addition, sample preparation, processing, and target identification will be significantly streamlined.”  

The biochips allow detection of biomolecules, such as DNA or proteins, without a need for attached labels—a feature that could potentially save time and allow for new experiments that would otherwise be impossible due to the degradation of some biomolecules by labels, the companies said.  

In order to fund this partnership, Genomic Solutions is foregoing an option it acquired six months ago to license technology from Encinitas, Calif., biomolecule detection company Fundamental Forces. As a result, the company does not anticipate that the deal will impact overall R&D expenditures.  
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