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GEN News Highlights : May 8, 2012

Multiplicom, ICAN, ICM to Develop Tests for Cardiovascular, Metabolic, and Neurological Diseases

Molecular diagnostics company will leverage samples from the two hospital-university institutes.

Multiplicom, ICAN, and ICM signed an agreement to jointly develop molecular diagnostic tests to identify disease predisposition mutations in cardiovascular, metabolic, and neurological diseases. Multiplicom is a Belgian diagnostics company, while ICAN and ICM are two hospital-university institutes (IHU) at Hôpital Pitié Salpêtrière in Paris that are specialized in cardiovascular diseases and metabolic and neurological diseases, respectively.

Multiplicom’s expertise in the development of massive parallel sequencing-based diagnostics will be combined with well-documented samples at ICAN and ICM. The parties will work together on a number of specific projects with the aim of developing and validating diagnostic tests. As a first project, an early-onset diabetes test will be developed. 

Multiplicom will be responsible for the commercialization of the resulting products. The company was created in 2011 as a spin-off by the University of Antwerp and VIB. It currently markets research-use only products. Its portfolio comprises five product groups based on different protocols and subsequently different interpretations.

MAQ Assays analyze copy number variations and have a distinct genomic target and generally an associated disease. You-MAQ Control Assays are used with the You-MAQ design tool for direct labeling of the resulting amplicons. Multiplex PCR Assays contain products that are not directly related to CNV analysis but still exploit the advantages of multiplexed PCR amplification. MASTR Assays (multiplex amplification of specific targets for resequencing) are used for front-end amplification in next-generation sequencing applications. MASTR related products are used for sample barcoding (454 sequencers) or as a universal PCR step (short read sequencers). A BRCA homopolymers assay is also in this group.