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Sequenom and Novartis Collaborate on Mouse Genome SNP Analysis

NEW YORK, Feb 26 – Sequenom and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation have agreed to collaborate on a SNP analysis of the mouse genome, the companies said Monday.

Under the agreement, the Genomics Institute purchased Sequenom’s MassArray system to analyze 650 publicly available and proprietary SNPs in Sequenom's collection of inbred mouse strains. MassArray systems typically cost between $500,000 and $1 million, said Sequenom CEO Toni Schuh, but the Genomics Institute will also pay Sequenom an undisclosed sum to develop the customized SNP assays that it will use.

The joint research effort will attempt to validate recently published mouse SNPs, determine the SNP locations, and use the SNP locations as markers for an integrated mouse genome map. The two companies hope the integrated map will lead to candidate genes associated with human diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

“[The Genomics Institute] will screen hundreds [or] thousands of mouse genomes using our MassArray to locate the gene region associated with the phenotypes of certain diseases,” said Schuh.

Sequenom and the Genomics Institute will share the rights to intellectual property generated by the research. 

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