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Claritas Wins $9M Exome Sequencing Contract from VA

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The US Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded startup clinical diagnostics laboratory Claritas Genomics a $9 million contract to sequence the exomes of veteran samples, Claritas, Life Technologies, and Lockheed Martin announced today.

Exome sequencing performed as part of the contract includes samples from the Million Veteran Program (MVP), which was launched in 2011 to elucidate the genetic underpinnings of health. The contract is for 12 months.

Claritas was spun out of Boston Children's Hospital in February and is based in Cambridge, Mass. It provides genetic testing for hospitals and researchers with a focus on pediatric medicine.

Life Tech supports Claritas with its Ion Proton sequencing technology. Additionally, IT firm Alvarez and Associates provides technical support, while Lockheed Martin provides data security expertise to manage the large amounts of data being generated.

"We know firsthand from our work in pediatrics the power of large datasets to uncover the genetic mechanisms of disease," Patrice Milos, CEO of Claritas, said in a statement. "What's unique about MVP is that we'll produce a massive dataset at a fraction of the time and cost it would have required even a year ago, and that's a direct result of the speed, simplicity, and affordability of Ion Torrent's sequencing technology."