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Virtek to Provide Chip Reader, Spotter for Diagnostics Trial

NEW YORK, June 11 – Canada’s Virtek Vision International said Monday that its Virtek ChipWriter and Virtek ChipReader had been selected for a six-month trial to apply its microarray technology for a neonatal screening application.

Under the terms of the alliance, Virtek has agreed to supply its spotter and reader to Neo Gen Screening and TeleChem International/ArrayIt.com for the testing of metabolic disorders in newborns. TeleChem of Sunnyvale, Calif., has developed the assays while Neo Gen Screening of Pittsburgh, Pa., develops tests for screening disorders.

“Today this is done using a basic assay approach. Now they are going to use microarrays to increase sensitivity, throughput, and speed,” said Philip Nafekh, Virtek’s chief financial officer.

After the six month trial, for which no money has exchanged hands, Neo Gen and TeleChem will have the right to purchase the equipment outright. Virtek may also deploy its technology for use in similar diagnostic applications.

Virtek of Waterloo, Ontario, develops precision laser and automation applications. Its microarray technology is designed to allow 87,000 spots per chip using either cDNAs or oligos.

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