NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Illumina said today that it will work with the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario to develop molecular tests that would screen infants for spinal muscular atrophy and blood diseases.
Under the terms of the agreement, Illumina will hold the commercial rights for any assays it develops with the CHEO, which is located in Ottawa.
The research collaboration calls for Illumina to use its VeraCode technology on its BeadXpress reader initially to screen for hemaglobinopathies, which are genetic conditions causing blood disorders such as sickle-cell anemia and thalassemia.
Illumina said that spinal muscular atrophy is the number-one genetic killer of infants and toddlers, but added that there is hope that it may be treatable if the mutation causing it is detected early enough.
The company said CHEO screens roughly 135,000 newborns for 27 different diseases every year.