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RainDance Inks Deals with 454, Ambry Targeting ADME Applications

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – RainDance Technologies today announced two separate development and commercialization deals aimed at ADME applications.

In a deal with Roche's 454 Life Sciences, the two firms will develop and bring to market a targeted next-generation sequencing solution for the ADME space. RainDance and 454 plan to launch a core ADME gene screening research panel to address "one of the large unmet research needs in the academic, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology markets," RainDance said.

According to the company, adverse drug reactions result in more than 2 million hospitalizations and $1 billion in healthcare costs in the US every year. More effective early warning indicators of drug events and molecular pharmacology could cut the number of adverse drug-related hospitalizations in half, and lead to better methods of determining proper drug dosage and identification of responders and non-responders.

Current ADME products are limited to genotyping common alleles, and lack the sensitivity, genomic coverage, and ability to identify unknown variants important for new scientific and routine use, RainDance said. The collaboration announced today would enable researchers to interrogate a set of core pharmacokinetic and pharmacology genes, while simultaneously detecting known and unknown functional mutations associated with drug metabolism and response.

"For the first time, researchers can look beyond the mutations found on current genotyping panels and discover novel chromosomal changes and rare mutations associated with drug metabolism and adverse drug events," Roopom Banerjee, president and CEO of RainDance, said in a statement. "Through our collaboration, RainDance and 454 Life Sciences are combining the power of microdroplet technology with 454 Life Sciences' proven next-generation sequencing platforms to provide a robust and economical ADME sequencing solution."

Separately, RainDance also announced a deal with Ambry Genetics for the development and commercialization of a genetic screening panel for use on next-gen sequencing systems.

The panel would enable scientists to perform sequence analysis of entire coding regions associated with more than 220 key drug metabolism-linked genes, including transporters, receptors, regulators, all pharmacodynamics and pharmacogenetic genes, and all US Food and Drug Administration-identified pharmacogenomic biomarker genes, RainDance said.

The panel will be provided as part of Ambry's ADME sequencing service and will leverage RainDance's proprietary primer designer methods and microdroplet-based RDT 1000 platform.

"Through our collaboration with Ambry Genetics, we are providing a solution that puts the most advanced ADME research tools within reach of the many research organizations focused on reducing the significant costs associated with failed drug trials and avoidable hospitalizations," said Darren Link, co-founder and vice president of research and development at RainDance.

Financial and other terms for the two deals were not disclosed.

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