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Orchid Bioscience, Ellipsis Enter IBD SNP-Discovery Pact

NEW YORK, Oct. 10 - Orchid BioSciences and Ellipsis Biotherapeutics have entered into a pharmacogenomics collaboration that will use Orchid’s SNPcode technology, the companies said on Wednesday.

Under the terms of the agreement Orchid will use its MegaSNPatron conduct high-throughput SNP-genotyping and construct high-density chromosome maps using clinical samples provided by Ellipsis. The partnership will initially study SNPs associated with inflammatory bowel disease, according to a statement.

Terms of the deal also call for Orchid to retain a right of first negotiation to Ellipsis inventions that may develop into useful diagnostics, which includes Ellipsis' stake in its most recent work on chromosome 5 and Crohn's disease, one of the two IBD illnesses.

Orchid, based in Princeton, NJ, intends to commercialize relevant SNP panels and assays, as well as genetic markers with diagnostic potential for which it obtains rights. Some of these markers may be priority products for Orchid Diagnostics, Orchid's new DNA diagnostics business division, the firm said.

Financial details of the agreement were not released.

“We expect that this collaboration, along with similar efforts that we are pursuing with other collaborators, will enable us to advance our commercial leadership in the conduct of whole chromosome SNP studies with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners," Jack T. Ball Jr., senior vice president and general manager of the Life Sciences Group at Orchid, said in a statement.

The nature of the other collaborations was not immediately disclosed.

"Our collaborative efforts with Orchid to rapidly identify and characterize the genetic variations associated with disease predisposition and response to therapy may also be extended to additional diagnostic discoveries in other disease areas going forward," Jacqueline Le Saux, president and chief operating officer of Toronto-based Ellipsis, said in the statement.

The MegaSNPatron offers Orchid's SNP-IT genotyping technology on several platforms, including the array-based ultra-high-throughput SNPcode. SNPcode is ideally suited for LD mapping and whole chromosome studies, as it is capable of generating more than 100,000 high quality genotypes in a single shift. Orchid intends to make SNP assays developed in connection with its whole chromosome studies available to a variety of customers in differing formats.

On Monday, Hitachi Software Engineering subsidiary MiraiBio said it intends to market Orchid’s SNPstream consumables and software, and last week it sold the system to Tepnel Life Sciences and made an equity investment in the Manchester, UK-based company.

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