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Orchid Enters Genotyping Deal for Autoimmune Diseases

NEW YORK, Sept. 25 - Orchid BioSciences has entered into a commercial SNP genotyping partnership with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation to study autoimmune diseases, especially lupus, the company said on Tuesday.

Terms of the deal call for Orchid to use its MegaSNPatron facility for an undisclosed fee to perform high throughput SNP scoring on samples provided by OMRF.

Further details of the agreement were not disclosed.

“OMRF has made major breakthroughs in important diseases like cardiovascular, Alzheimer's and lupus,” Jack T. Ball, Jr., senior vice president and general manager of the Life Science Group at Orchid, said in a statement.

John Harley, principal investigator on the Lupus Genetics Studies at OMRF, said in the statement that his group is “very excited by the new genetic analysis technologies now available and [is] pleased to gain access to one of these through Orchid. Indeed, we are hopeful that our arrangement with Orchid will accelerate gene discovery in lupus.”

OMRF Clinical Immunology Laboratory, headed by Morris Reichlin, is studying the genetics of lupus to improve diagnosis and develop more effective treatments for this chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects one out of every 1,000 people in the US, according to Orchid.

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