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Life Tech, Boston Children's Hospital Launch New Company to Focus on Pediatric Disease Diagnostics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb Daily News) - Life Technologies said today that it will partner with Boston Children's Hospital to form a new company called Claritas Genomics focused on developing diagnostics based on Life Tech's Ion Torrent sequencing technology.

Boston Children's Hospital will be the majority owner of Claritas, which will incorporate the expertise of the hospital's CLIA-certified Genetic Diagnostic Lab that already offers more than 100 genetic tests.

The new company will focus on developing diagnostic tests for inherited pediatric diseases, including pre-birth and post-birth through young adult, Life Tech CEO Greg Lucier told GenomeWeb Daily News.

Additionally, Claritas will aim to validate the Ion Proton and tests developed on the platform for clinical use. Initially, Claritas will be equipped with four Proton machines and four PGMs.

The launch of Claritas builds on a collaboration announced in June between Life Tech and Boston Children's Hospital to develop next-generation sequencing workflows in a CLIA- and CAP-certified laboratory on the Ion Proton.

"Boston Children's has already invested significantly to accelerate genomic discovery for patients with rare diseases, cancer, and autism, and to profile individual responses to medications," said David Margulies, executive director of the Gene Partnership at Boston Children's Hospital, in a statement.

Claritas will also develop relationships with other US and international children's hospitals to create a network of centers that can share data.

"We now have a practical paradigm for taking genetic and genomic research discoveries to the bedside, and we're excited to be able to scale up and offer this capability to patients everywhere," Margulies added. "Through a set of network collaborations and via electronic communications, we plan to provide interpretive services around the world."

Lucier elaborated that such relationships could take the form of other children's hospitals becoming co-owners of Claritas or forging a similar model with Life Tech.

Lucier said that Life Tech's investment in the company is a "model for future endeavors to demonstrate the validation of our Ion Torrent technology in an integrated workflow designed for clinical applications related to pediatrics and inherited diseases."