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Baylor College of Medicine, Miraca Form Genetic Testing Joint Venture

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Baylor College of Medicine and Miraca Holdings today announced a joint venture that links a genetics research program with a diagnostics firm.

The joint venture called Baylor Miraca Genetics Laboratories will be headquartered in Houston and built on Baylor's existing Medical Genetics Laboratories, which conducts clinical laboratory genetic testing. Initially, the joint venture will employ about 225 people, Baylor said in a statement.

Baylor President and CEO Paul Klotman said that the partnership is anticipated to lead to "tremendous growth of our clinical genetics testing program, while ensuring the quality of diagnostics to patients and healthcare providers on an international level."

Baylor has provided diagnostic services for more than 35 years and is home to three US-based large-scale genome sequencing centers funded by the National Institutes of Health. Regardless, academic medical centers and teaching hospitals in the Houston area have fallen behind those in other regions in bringing their innovations to market, Klotman said. The partnership with Miraca could change that, he added.

Miraca is based in Tokyo and provides in vitro diagnostics, clinical laboratory testing, and other healthcare services and products through its subsidiaries, such as Fujirebio and SRL. It also owns Miraca Life Sciences, based in Irving, Texas, which it said is the largest independent anatomic pathology business in the US.

The partners said that Baylor will continue to independently carry out its genetic diagnostic research program, and the joint venture "is expected to fully support the academic mission of the college's department of molecular and human genetics."

Baylor's faculty involved in clinical diagnostics will remain faculty members and employees of the college. Its educational training programs in genetics and genome sequencing will continue operating through a formal academic affiliation with the joint venture.