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InVitae Forms Chilean Subsidiary, Inks Pact to Create Production Facility

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Genetic diagnostics company InVitae today announced the creation of its South American subsidiary and a partnership with Pablo Valenzuela and the Fundación Ciencia & Vida (Science and Life Foundation) to create a production facility in Santiago, Chile.

InVitae Chile is being created in order to service global markets "with genetic information that will inform routine medical practice and influence everyday health decisions," the San Francisco-based company said. Its Chilean facility will be a next-generation sequencing operation that will mirror its CLIA laboratory in San Francisco, and both facilities will have the capability to process tens of thousands of samples each year. Both will also have the ability to be scaled up as the market grows, InVitae said.

It said that its Chilean subsidiary will play a crucial role in serving the international markets, as well as directly serve the clinical markets in Central and South America. According to InVitae's Sean George, "Our Chilean facility will focus on known, clinically relevant genetic tests that are routinely used in medical practice today. By aggregating large numbers of genetic tests into a single assay, our approach can effectively reduce the cost of multi-gene tests that are increasingly required to diagnose complex genetic conditions."

Fundación Ciencia & Vida is a private non-profit entity focused on "improving the social and economic development of Chile through scientific discovery, entrepreneurship, and education in the biological sciences," it said on its website. Valenzuela is its co-founder. He also co-founded Chiron.

InVitae was formed last summer from a Genomic Health subsidiary, also called InVitae, combined with a genetics firm called Locus Development. It operates as a separate, independent company from Genomic Health.

InVitae said that it is in the midst of an early access program with physicians and hospital worldwide and plans to expand its commercial programs at the end of the year with the opening of a new laboratory.