Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM), a life sciences company providing innovative genetic analysis solutions, today announced it has partnered with LifeCodexx AG, a company focused on the development of clinically validated Next Generation Molecular Diagnostics, for the commercialization of prenatal laboratory testing services in Europe. The companies have agreed to collaborate in the development and launch of a trisomy 21 laboratory developed test and other aneuploidies testing in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein, with the potential for additional launches in other countries.
The completion of the agreement with LifeCodexx initiates Sequenom's first European commercial partnership in the field of non-invasive prenatal diagnostics. Under this initial five year licensing agreement, Sequenom has granted LifeCodexx licenses to key patent rights, including European Patent EP0994963B1 and pending application EP2183693A1, that enable the development and commercialization of a non-invasive aneuploidy test utilizing circulating cell free fetal DNA in maternal plasma. Per the agreement, LifeCodexx will make certain upfront and minimum annual royalty payments to Sequenom as well as royalties based on sales of testing services.
"This agreement enables us to extend the licensing rights to our proprietary testing modality internationally, and we are excited to be partnering with a high quality laboratory like LifeCodexx in this endeavor," said Harry F. Hixson, Chairman and CEO of Sequenom, Inc. "This is the first of our ex-U.S. licensing agreements that enables a partner to commercialize a trisomy 21 laboratory developed test, another step in bringing this test to market and in achieving our corporate goals set forth for 2011."
"We are pleased to be the first to partner with Sequenom and to initially provide this testing service to German speaking regions of the European market. We are now in a strong position to exploit the clinical utility and proprietary science behind the noninvasive detection of trisomy 21 and eventually other aneuploidies using shotgun sequencing as initially developed by Dr. Dennis Lo and his team," added Dr. Michael Lutz, CEO of LifeCodexx AG. "Building upon our recently initiated clinical validation study for our trisomy 21 test, this agreement is another key milestone with respect to our goal of launching our first test by late 2011."