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GATC, LifeCodexx Developing Preeclampsia Diagnostic Test

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – GATC Biotech and its subsidiary LifeCodexx today announced they will co-develop a genetic diagnostic test for the early detection of preeclampsia.

The firms will use next-generation sequencing technology to develop the test, which will detect cell-free fetal DNA as an early marker for the hypertensive disorder before symptoms appear. The project is being funded with €500,000 ($711,477) from the KMU Innovation Program of the Federal Ministry for Research and Education in Germany.

According to GATC, based in Konstanz, Germany, preeclampsia occurs in about 2 percent to 5 percent of all pregnancies in the country and is a leading killer of mothers and the unborn child.

Peter Pohl, CEO of GATC, said in a statement that the company will "immediately investigate" Pacific Biosciences' RS next-gen sequencing technology for use in the test protocol.

In October, GATC announced it would analyze 100,000 human genomes using PacBio's platform and Illumina's HiSeq 2000. Late last year, the company also opened a new sequencing laboratory in Dusseldorf, Germany.

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