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ArcherDx Acquires Baby Genes

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – ArcherDx said today that it is acquiring genetic carrier screening firm Baby Genes for undisclosed terms.

Baby Genes will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary and market its existing menu of tests under the new name ArcherDx Clinical Services.

Existing ArcherDx research and development functions will remain in the firm's Boulder, Colorado lab, while all commercial genetic profiling services for both companies will be consolidated in Baby Genes' Golden, Colorado CLIA-certified, CAP accredited lab.

Baby Genes' current suite of tests includes pre-defined carrier screening tests offering full-gene sequencing for cystic fibrosis (CF), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and fragile X syndrome, and a supplemental newborn screening panel that interrogates over 100 genes covering more than 72 clinically actionable, inherited conditions. The laboratory also offers customized confirmatory and reflex genetic testing services to physicians.

ArcherDx previously focused on technology platform development, offering tools for genetic mutation detection by next-generation sequencing supported by its Anchored Multiplexed PCR chemistry. More recently, the firm has begun pursuing multiple companion diagnostic assays, and received breakthrough device designation this month from the US Food and Drug Administration for a CDx for both liquid biopsy and tissue specimens to guide treatment in advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

In a statement, ArcherDx Cofounder and CEO Jason Myers said that the addition of a CLIA- and CAP-accredited lab allows the firm to carry out its goal of enabling personalized medicine not by centralizing testing but by allowing the firm to "extend our capabilities in the genetic testing market, improve our ability to understand, and anticipate our customers' needs — especially those customers looking to implement NGS for the first time or expand NGS capabilities — and to enhance our biopharma partner co-development capabilities."   

As part of the transaction, Richard Sjogren, previously the cofounder and CEO of Baby Genes, will join ArcherDx's senior management team as vice president of operations.