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Jul 23, 2007

Partners HealthCare and Affymetrix Extend Deal to Develop Diagnostics

  • Affymetrix and Partners HealthCare report that they have extended their collaboration with a new contract array manufacturing supply agreement. The goal is to enable Partners’ researchers to transform recent microarray discoveries into fully validated, laboratory-developed molecular diagnostic tests, according to the firms.

    The latest deal builds on a previous translational research collaboration. For the past year, researchers at Harvard Medical School, Partners HealthCare, and Harvard Medical School-Partners HealthCare Center for Genetics and Genomics have been using the Affymetrix technology to identify genetic sequences and signatures associated with a number of complex diseases. The clinically relevant data will now be used to develop the molecular diagnostic tests.

    Affymetrix will create custom microarrays based on the recent discovery data from Partners. The arrays will be used to produce molecular diagnostic tests that will be validated and implemented in Partners’ CLIA-certified environments.

    Partners reports that it will begin focusing on array-based tests for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and will explore many indications in a large number of diseases.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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