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SynapDx Licenses Gene Expression Technology from Children's Hospital Boston

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Startup SynapDx said today it has licensed technology from Children's Hospital Boston for the development of blood-based tests for the early detection of autism spectrum disorders.

Citing statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, SynapDx said about one in every 110 children in the US has the disorder.

In an e-mail, Theresa Tribble, senior director of Clinical Market Development for the Southborough, Mass.-based firm told GenomeWeb Daily News that it has licensed a test method from the hospital, "specifically one that uses gene expression to distinguish autism cases."

SynapDx's initial focus with the technology will be to develop an assay "targeted at specialists who evaluate children with possible developmental concerns to more effectively differentiate children with autism spectrum disorders from those with other types of developmental disorders," she added.

SynapDx said that the technology being licensed was developed in collaboration with Louis Kunkel and Isaac Kohane at Children's Hospital. Kunkel is the director of the Children's Genomic Program. Kohane is the director of the informatics program at the hospital.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed

According to SynapDx's website, its approach measures RNA gene expression differences, and the firm is in the process of validating its methods. The company was founded about a year ago by Stanley Lapidus, who earlier had founded Helicos BioSciences, Cytyc, and Exact Sciences.