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Luminex Licenses Components for Genomic Analysis System

NEW YORK, April 2 – Luminex of Austin, Texas, said Monday it had licensed two components of Tm Bioscience’s microarray technology for use in its LabMAP, bead-based genomic analysis system.

Toronto-based Tm has also signed a multi-year partnership with Luminex, granting Tm rights to develop and market diagnostic products based on Luminex's LabMAP technology. LabMap uses microspheres, small lasers, digital processors, and software to perform up to 100 assays per drop of fluid.

Under the terms of the deal, Luminex has gained exclusive rights to Tm’s tags and probes, which it will apply to its microarrays. In exchange, Tm will receive milestone payments and royalties based on sales of the products, which Luminex will manufacture and market.

"Through our license agreement with Tm Bioscience we expect to develop and produce a universal nucleic acid array with our microspheres," Mark Chandler, CEO of Luminex, said in a statement. "This product should make the genetic analyses simple to develop and perform and could obviate the need for the complex and expensive microfabricated devices that are currently being developed for the genetic testing market.”

As of December, Luminex had licensed the LabMap technology to over 19 other companies as part of its core business strategy to commercialize the technology through establishing partnerships with other organizations.

Chandler said that by using Tm’s capture tags, the Luminex microsphere surface would be able to analyze 10,000 distinct genetic sequences in about 30 minutes at a competitive cost. Luminex's LabMAP technology is designed to perform multiple assays simultaneously on a single drop of fluid, with the capacity for small, medium, and high throughput applications.

The Tm 100 Universal microarray includes a set of DNA tag sequences that have been proven by Tm to hybridize without cross-talk in the Luminex LabMAP system. The system should help to minimize false positive and false negative results from genomic tests.

This will be important for FDA-approved diagnostic tests as well as pre-clinical trials in pharmaceutical development. Tm's hairpin capture probes are designed to improve the kinetics of DNA microarrays and to reduce the time it takes to get test results.

"Since the validation of our Tm-100 Universal microarray was announced in November, it has been a priority to secure access to the Luminex platform,” said Greg Hines, CEO of Tm. “The combination of the Tm Bioscience technologies and the Luminex platform is expected to provide powerful genomic tools for use in drug discovery, disease management and diagnosis.” 

Hines said he expected the partnership to help the company increase sales in the microarray market, which he estimated would grow to over $5 billion in the next five years.

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