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NuProbe Global, CarrierGene Biotech Complete Merger, Partner With Illumina

NEW YORK – NuProbe Global, a spinout from Harvard University's Wyss Institute, has merged with China's CarrierGene Biotech and has partnered with Illumina to develop clinical molecular diagnostic tests for genetic disorders.

The firm will continue to operate as NuProbe in the US and offer target enrichment assays for next-generation sequencing-based diagnostic tests based on toehold probes. Financial and other details of the merger were not disclosed.

The company signed a strategic partnership with Illumina in late 2019 on clinical NGS testing for infertility and genetic diseases. Under the terms of the collaboration, NuProbe will develop clinical molecular diagnostic kits for nucleic acid extraction and library construction to be used on Illumina's sequencing platform. NuProbe will also develop bioinformatics software. The partners will seek regulatory approval for the kits from China's National Medical Products Administration.

Former CarrierGene CEO and Cofounder Yingshuang Chai will serve as CEO of the new company. R&D will take place in Houston and Shanghai. NuProbe spun out of Harvard's Wyss Institute and raised $11 million in Series A financing in 2018, when it said it was developing an ultra-sensitive blood test for the early detection of cancers and infectious diseases.

"I am greatly impressed by NuProbe's technology, which is highly differentiated with unique features that are hard to mimic using alternative methods," Chai said in a statement. "NuProbe will have exceptional research and commercial teams in both the United States and China. In addition to new products to be deployed in the US, China, and the Asia-Pacific region, our technology can help other genomics companies achieve better technical performance, go beyond homogenous competition, and accelerate the expansion of the entire genomics diagnostic market. In the past six months, we have completed the integration of the two companies' products, finances, teams, and business, and made breakthrough progress with the development of new products."

CarrierGene was founded in 2016 by genomics industry veterans from Illumina, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and WuXi AppTec.