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Correlagen Purchases Helicos Instrument to Develop New Genetic Tests

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By Julia Karow

This article was originally published Sept. 28.

Helicos BioSciences said this week that it has sold a Helicos Genetic Analysis System to genetic-testing company Correlagen Diagnostics and is collaborating scientifically with the firm.

Correlagen, which has a CLIA-certified laboratory and is based in Waltham, Mass., plans to use the Helicos platform for new genetic tests that require resequencing "broad panels" of genes in the areas of cardiology, endocrinology, neuropsychiatry, and immunology.

Helicos and Correlagen will collaborate to optimize sample-preparation methods and to develop data analysis and visualization technologies for sequence variant detection, annotation, and clinical reporting.

"Helicos was the obvious choice for the CLIA-certified genetic diagnostics arena given the unique characteristics of this single-molecule sequencing platform," said Correlagen President and CEO David Margulies in a statement.

Until now, Correlagen has been using PCR amplification and Sanger dideoxy sequencing for its genetic tests, according to the firm’s website.

A Helicos spokesperson confirmed that the deal with Correlagen is unrelated to the sale of a Helicos instrument to an undisclosed biotechnology company in the Northeast that the firm reported in August (see In Sequence 8/4/2009).

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