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GE buys genomic services CRO

By Nick Taylor , 05-Apr-2012

GE Healthcare has bought a nucleic acid technology CRO, SeqWright, to add to its range of genomic services.

Buying SeqWright gives GE new genomic services, such as nucleic acid sequencing, to complement the capabilities it acquired in the $580m (€440m) takeover of Clarient. By combining the assets GE will expand its range of diagnostic services to support the shift towards personalised medicine.

This partnership will put us in a position to apply the power of new direct detection technologies to clinical and companion diagnostics, potentially revolutionising the way healthcare decisions are made”, Fei Lu, president and CEO of SeqWright, said.

SeqWright calls itself a full-service nucleic acid technology CRO (contract research organisation). The business was founded in 1994 by a doctor involved in the Human Genome Project and has expanded to offer GLP (good laboratory practice) support services, biomarker discovery, and DNA sequencing.

GE views sequencing as an important part of its medical diagnostics business that will complement protein and gene expression capabilities at Clarient. Buying into the sector gives GE a foothold from day one.

The acquisition of a specialised laboratory with long-standing expertise in the sequencing field as well as an established customer base allows us immediate entry into this high-growth space”, Carrie Eglinton-Manner, CEO of Clarient, said.

A year ago SeqWright expanded its sequencing capabilities with the installation of a second Illumina HiSeq 2000 and new bioinformatics tools to increase workflow. Using the setup SeqWright cut the time taken to map next-generation sequencing runs.

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