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GEN News Highlights : Mar 7, 2011

RainDance Forges Separate Pacts with Ambry and Roche to Advance ADME Analysis

Firm will couple its microdroplet sequencing platform with partners' respective technologies.

RainDance Technologies will collaborate separately with Ambry Genetics and Roche's 454 Life Sciences to develop and commercialize screening panels to enable simpler and more cost-effective ADME studies.

The panel to be developed by RainDance and Ambry will allow scientists to perform sequence analysis of entire coding regions associated with more than 220 key drug metabolism-linked genes including transporters, receptors, regulators, and all pharmacodynamic and pharmacogenetic genes as well as all FDA-identified pharmacogenomic biomarker genes. The new panel, provided as part of the Ambry ADME sequencing service, will employ RainDance’s primer design methods and microdroplet-based RDT 1000 platform.

RainDance is also working with 454 to develop an ADME gene screening research panel. The collaboration combines RainDance’s microdroplet technology with 454’s GS Junior and GS FLX next-gen sequencing platforms.

RainDance and 454 say their work will allow 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.

Privately held RainDance closed a Series D financing round of $37.5 million in January. Last year it inked deals that coupled its technology with sequencing platforms of Pacific Biosciences and Life Technologies.

Publicly traded Roche, which posted sales of CHF 47.5 billion (about $51.3 billion) in 2010, joined Fluidigm last October to co-promote their respective and complementary sample-preparation and sequencing platforms, worldwide.