Under the deal the companies will commercially launch a core absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) gene screening research panel to address what they say is “one of the large unmet research needs in academic, pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets.” The companies expect the panel to be available on 454 Life Sciences' GS Junior and GS FLX systems
Speaking about the agreement, Roopom Banerjee, president and CEO of Massachusetts, US-based RainDance said:”For the first time researchers can look beyond the mutations found on current genotyping panels and discover novel chromosonal changes and rare mutations associated with drug metabolism and adverse drug events.
“Through our collaboration, RainDance and 454 Life Sciences are combining the power of microdroplet technology with 454 Life Sciences' proven next-generation sequencing platforms.”
The announcement was made to coincide with the Society of Toxicology's 50th annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Better equipped scientists
Current ADME technology is limited to genotyping common alleles, and lacks the sensitivity to identify new variants. The companies hope their collaboration will enable researchers to detect unknown and known functional mutations associated with drug metabolism and response.
Christopher McLeod, president and CEO of 454 Life Sciences, said the deal would serve to enhance the capabilities of its existing line of products,
“Our collaboration with RainDance will result in solutions that better equip scientists to leverage the GS FLX and GS Junior systems to effectively predict and understand drug activity early in the drug development process,” he said. “We are pleased to be working with RainDance on the development of this powerful core ADME panel.”
Life Sciences says the panel is intended to provide a “simple, cost-effective targeted sequencing solution” for its pharma, biotech and research customers.
Parent company, Swiss-based pharma giant, Roche, acquired 454 Life Sciences for $140m (€101m) in March 2007. The company has since functioned as a centre of excellence for Roche Applied Science in the development and commercialisation of gene sequencing systems.