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Children's National Licenses Pediatric Genetic Disease Screening Tech to MGeneRx

NEW YORK — Children's National Hospital said on Wednesday that it has exclusively licensed a patented technology for early, noninvasive screening of dysmorphic genetic diseases in pediatric patients to startup MGeneRx.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The technology uses artificial intelligence to analyze a patient's face and identify facial markers that are indicative of 128 different genetic disorders — including DiGeorge, Down, Williams, and Noonan syndromes — with about 90 percent accuracy. It runs on a smartphone application that uses a phone's camera and provides results immediately, according to Morrisville, North Carolina-based MGeneRx, which was spun off of BreakThrough BioAssets earlier this year.

Washington, D.C.-based Children's National said that MGeneRx aims to raise funding to commercialize the technology, with a focus on markets in developing nations with limited access to genetic testing, and to expand its application to additional disorders.

FDNA is developing a similar technology, called Face2Gene, that uses facial anomalies, phenotypic traits, and variant information to diagnose genetic disorders.