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GEN News Highlights : Sep 29, 2011

Verinata Enters Supply Agreement with Illumina for Sequencing Instruments

Deal aims to advance noninvasive testing for fetal chromosome abnormalities.

Verinata Health is purchasing Illumina's sequencing platforms and consumables under a supply agreement. Terms of the deal allows Verinata to use the Illumina technology in the commercialization of its own noninvasive prenatal test, which is in development for detection of multiple fetal chromosome abnormalities.

Verinata Health is focused on developing a single blood draw test to replace current prenatal screening methods, citing national guidelines recommending first trimester aneuploidy risk assessment. The company is conducting a prospective, blinded pivotal study to clinically validate the sensitivity and specificity of its first prenatal test on a large scale.

Verinata and Illumina say that they will work together toward gaining regulatory approval for the testing service as part of their multiyear supply agreement. "Noninvasive prenatal testing represents an exciting market for sequencing, and Illumina is pleased to enter into this supply agreement with Verinata Health for Illumina's HiSeq 2000 platform," says Jay Flatley, president and CEO of Illumina.

Caren Mason, CEO of Verinata, adds "This supply agreement is designed to provide uninterrupted access to Illumina's HiSeq™ sequencing instrument and consumables including certain updates and improvements applied to current technology. With our proprietary technology and Illumina's sequencing prowess, it is our intention to advance and improve the testing methods of today for the determination of fetal aneuploidy."