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GEN News Highlights : Apr 14, 2010

PerkinElmer to Take Over Signature Genomic Laboratories

Acquisition adds genetic testing services and molecular diagnostics.

PerkinElmer is acquiring Signature Genomic Laboratories, a genetic testing company based in Spokane, WA. The company expects the deal to strengthen its existing genetic testing service business, expand its position in early detection of disease, specifically in the molecular diagnostics market, and provide additional strengths in cancer diagnostics.

“Signature brings very strong complementary assets for diagnosing disorders that are often undetected by traditional genetic tests,” notes Robert Friel, chairman and CEO of PerkinElmer.

Founded in 2003 by Lisa G. Shaffer, Ph.D., and Bassem A. Bejjani, M.D., Signature performs diagnostic cytogenetic testing of chromosome abnormalities in individuals with unexplained physical and developmental disabilities. Additionally, Signature’s microarray diagnostic technology is available for both prenatal and postnatal identification of DNA alterations associated with genetic diseases. More recently, the firm launched a suite of services for the diagnosis of patients with leukemia.

“As a global leader in genetic screening technologies and services, PerkinElmer clearly has the resources and worldwide presence to enable our combined testing services to reach more patients and families,” says Dr. Shaffer, president and CEO, Signature. “We believe that this move will not only benefit patient populations around the world but help us continue our success in genetic diagnostic innovation.”

Signature has approximately 120 employees and was reportedly the first laboratory to provide microarray-based diagnostic testing of individuals with developmental disabilities with its SignatureChip® microarray.