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WaferGen Plans Europe HQ in Luxembourg

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Biomarker discovery company WaferGen plans to open a European headquarters in Luxembourg, the company said today.

The new facility in central Europe would include sales and marketing, service and support, distribution, some research and development, and management of distributors and subsidiaries, the Freemont, Calif.-based company said.

The agreement to locate the company in Luxembourg, which was inked last Friday and is tentatively set to be finalized in the fourth quarter of 2010, will be supported by the government as part of a $200 million initiative to ramp up its genomics and personalized medicine capabilities. That initiative will create a biobank, a tissue repository, two molecular biology research endeavors, and an early lung cancer detection and treatment project, WaferGen said.

The company offers a fee-based service for gene expression profiling and it is continuing to develop its SmartChip Real-Time PCR System as a whole-genome, high-throughput platform.

"The location of our European operations in Luxembourg, which is centrally located in Europe and focused on the advancement of personalized medicine, would facilitate the sale and distribution of our SmartChip system throughout Europe," WaferGen CEO Alnoor Shivji said in a statement.

Shivji also said that the move is an "important step in our commercialization strategy," and that it dovetails with two other recent developments: the receipt of the CE Mark for the SmartChip and a collaboration with Belgium’s Ghent University.

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