RainDance, 454 Life Sciences collaborate to launch core ADME gene screening research panel

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RainDance Technologies, Inc., and 454 Life Sciences, a Roche Company, today announced a collaboration for the development and commercialization of a targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) solution for the simple and cost-effective investigation of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME). As part of the collaboration, RainDance and 454 Life Sciences plan to commercially launch a core ADME gene screening research panel that will address one of the large unmet research needs in academic, pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets. The announcement was made in conjunction with the Society of Toxicology's 50th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

“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”

Adverse drug events represent more than two million hospitalizations and approximately $1 billion in healthcare cost burden annually in the United States. More effective early warning indicators of drug metabolism and molecular pharmacology hold the potential to reduce more than 50 percent of hospitalizations associated with adverse drug events, as well as enable the optimization of drug dosing and the identification of responders and non-responders.

Current ADME research products are primarily limited to genotyping common alleles, and therefore lack the sensitivity, breadth of genomic coverage and ability to identify previously unknown variants that are important to drive scientific discovery and routine use. The RainDance and 454 Life Sciences collaboration will enable researchers to interrogate a set of core pharmacokinetic and pharmacology genes, while at the same time detect 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," said Roopom Banerjee, President and CEO of RainDance Technologies. "Through our collaboration, RainDance and 454 Life Sciences are combining the power of our microdroplet technology with 454 Life Sciences' proven next-generation sequencing platforms to provide a robust and economical ADME sequencing solution."

RainDance's proprietary primer design methods enable highly accurate, consistent, and reproducible next-generation sequencing in ADME research, which is required for large-scale drug metabolism studies. 454 Life Sciences' GS Junior and GS FLX Systems provide high-quality, long sequencing reads which enable higher levels of coverage, accuracy and quantitation with fewer dropouts, as well as detection of a wide range of genomic variations, including SNPs, insertions, deletions, and multinucleotide polymorphisms.

"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," explained Christopher McLeod, President and CEO of 454 Life Sciences. "We are pleased to be working with RainDance on the development of this powerful core ADME panel that provides a simple, cost-effective targeted sequencing solution to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and research customers."

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