Orchid Cellmark’s scrapie genotyping contract has been extedend by the U.K. government through to 2008. The extension is expected to be worth in excess of $3.5 million annually.
Under the terms of the agreement, Orchid Cellmark will become the exclusive supplier of genotyping services offered to sheep farmers under the government's National Scrapie Plan for Great Britain, which is designed to help British farmers breed sheep with reduced genetic susceptibility to the prion disease scrapie.
"Orchid Cellmark has been the major supplier of high-throughput genotyping services to the British National Scrapie Plan since its inception,” points out Thomas Bologna, president and CEO. “We believe that this extension of our scrapie genotyping contract, now on an exclusive basis, is an indication of the overall strength of our U.K. operations."
Orchid Cellmark’s genotyping service has analyzed the DNA of approximately two million sheep under this program since 2001.