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Genomic Vision Forms Strategic Partnership With University-Hospital Institute Imagine

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — French molecular diagnostics firm Genomic Vision announced today that it has formed a strategic partnership with the University-Hospital Institute (IHU) Imagine, a European genetic research and care organization, to develop genetic tests that will expand the company's test portfolio.

According to the company, the collaboration will focus on identifying diseases caused by genetic structural variations using its proprietary molecular combing technology, which involves stretching DNA fibers on glass slides, "combing" them, and then uniformly aligning the DNA fibers across the whole surface. Genetic anomalies can be identified by locating genes or specific sequences in a patient's genome using markers.

"In order to cure a genetic disease, it is first necessary to identify the genes responsible, characterize their mutations, and understand the disruptions they generate," Arnold Munnich, director of the department of genetics at Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital where IHU Imagine is located, said in a statement.

"This is particularly difficult in the case of large rearrangements within the genome, which are almost undetectable with conventional technologies," he added. "Genomic Vision's molecular combing will considerably reinforce our ability to explore those mutations that give rise to numerous pathologies in order to treat them better." 

"This partnership allows us to share our technological know-how in molecular diagnostics with the researchers at the Imagine Institute and create synergies for developing new diagnostic tests that will benefit many patients," Aaron Bensimon, co-founder and chairman of Genomic Vision, said in the statement. "The tests arising from this collaboration may create important growth engines for Genomic Vision in new indications with strong potential, while complementing our ongoing developments."

Currently, Genomic Vision sells a test for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy and is developing others for cancers and genetic diseases.  

As part of the deal, Genomic Vision has installed one of its FiberVision molecular combing systems at the institute.