NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – French biotech Genomic Vision today announced it and Quest Diagnostics have extended their strategic alliance agreement originally forged in 2011.
Under the terms of the extension, Quest will invest in the planned development of a laboratory-developed test for an undisclosed hereditary genetic disease. The two firms also will collaborate on automating the testing process and improving turnaround times for tests that use Genomic Vision's DNA combing technique.
The technique 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.
"The new automated process will help leverage the potential of DNA combing for testing of large populations, which in turn may help improve detection of diseases such as certain cancers and neurological disorders," Aaron Bensimon, CEO of Genomic Vision, said in a statement. The automated platform should be commercially available by the end of the year, he added.
Genomic Vision initially granted Quest in July 2011 the rights to develop and offer clinical and research-use only laboratory testing services for Genomic Vision's molecular combing technique in the US, India, and Mexico.
Since then, Quest has adapted the technique to a commercial laboratory. It streamlined and automated processes, and validated a molecular combing assay for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder also known as Landouzy-Dejerine, Bagneux, France-based Genomic Vision said, adding Quest plans to launch the test for the disorder during the summer.
Quest continues to explore market opportunities for a Lynch Syndrome LDT based on DNA combing, Genomic Vision said.
It did not reveal the financial or other terms of the extended deal.