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Singlera Genomics, Astellas Pharma Partner to Study Drug Reactions

NEW YORK – Singlera Genomics said on Tuesday that it will collaborate with Astellas Pharma of Japan to study biological reactions to pharmaceuticals using methylation-based assays.

The companies will use Singlera's mTitan platform, which interrogates methylation signals in circulating cell-free DNA. The technology has previously been used to detect cancer signals in patient blood four years before the onset of symptoms.

Under the agreement, San Diego-based Singlera will design mTitan-based assays for use in Astellas' preclinical drug development pipeline, with the hope to shed light on biological responses to drug treatment. Potentially, this could speed the development of therapeutics with fewer side effects, the firms said.

"The use of Singlera's cutting-edge methylation technology in the drug development space will allow for a deeper understanding of the gene regulation consequences of therapeutic compounds," Qiang Liu, cofounder and chief operating officer of Singlera, said in a statement.

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