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Orchid Grants PerkinElmer Exclusive License to SNP-it Technology

NEW YORK, Jan 3 – Orchid BioSciences has granted PerkinElmer’s Life Sciences unit an exclusive license to its SNP-it single base primer extension technology for SNP scoring, the companies announced Wednesday.

Under the terms of the agreement, PerkinElmer will develop and market reagent kits, software and instruments using Orchid’s SNP-it technology. The terms include an up-front payment to Orchid as well as royalties on kits incorporating SNP-it.

The new agreement adds to an existing license Orchid holds for exclusive use of PerkinElmer's proprietary reagents for SNP scoring in Orchid's SNPware kits.

This new license gives PerkinElmer exclusive rights to use the SNP-it technology with fluorescence polarization and energy transfer read-out methods. It also gives PerkinElmer the option to develop diagnostic assays based on fluorescence methodologies and time resolved energy transfer, fields in which PerkinElmer holds major patents.

The license period matches the length of the patent covering SNP-it, which according to Orchid spokeswoman Barbara Lindheim, is around 10 years.

Further financial details were not disclosed.      

Lindheim said that the exclusive license agreement is an unusual move for Orchid, but was attractive from a patent position. PerkinElmer’s purchase of NEN Life Sciences in August 2000 brought a number of patents covering the development of reagents to perform genotyping that Lindheim said would “close anyone else out of that part of the business.”

This agreement comes out of a relationship with both NEN and PerkinElmer that goes back some time, Lindheim noted. Orchid also found PerkinElmer’s existing customer base to be a selling point, helping Orchid “get the technology out into an existing installed base,” Lindheim said.

“We think it’s a perfect partnership,” she said.  

Patrik Dahlen, president of PerkinElmer Life Sciences, noted in a statement that the license agreement would enable PerkinElmer “to produce and sell reagent kits enabling researchers to use existing and new fluorescence polarization-based assays and instruments to perform high quality SNP analyses.”

The SNP-it based reagent kits should be in the marketplace within a year.

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