Sequenom gains test for HPV, chronic kidney disease, and lupus.

Sequenom purchased SensiGen’s AttoSense™ portfolio of tests along with certain other assets in a transaction worth $8.7 million. This amount includes an up-front fee and future milestone payments.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sequenom will acquire all of SensiGen’s currently developed assays including the AttoSense HPV-G and HPV-Q tests for cervical cancer, AttoSense HPV-C for head and neck cancer, the AttoSense Kidney Test, and the EpiSense Lupus Panel along with certain other assets and intellectual property rights in a stock and cash-based transaction.

SensiGen has been developing this portfolio under a partnership agreement with Sequenom, and all tests utilize Sequenom’s MassARRAY® platform. AttoSense assays identify minute quantities, in some cases as little as a single copy, of biomarkers that signal disease onset or the pathogens that cause them, according to Sequenom. This technique is well suited for identifying nucleic acid targets that are difficult to detect accurately by current hybridization methods and/or are found in extremely small quantities, the firms note.

Hence, the AttoSense technology enables the use of smaller primer sequences to detect DNA from a range of biological specimens including virus, bacterium, or cell and from biological samples like blood, urine, and tissue.

“This acquisition is highly synergistic given our ability to rapidly bring these fully developed assets to market as laboratory developed tests via the Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine in the near-term and potentially as in vitro diagnostics in the future,” remarks Harry Stylli, Ph.D., president and CEO of Sequenom.

“Although we believe this technology represents a future growth opportunity,” Dr. Stylli adds, “the management of Sequenom remains keenly focused on the noninvasive prenatal diagnostic franchise and in particular our Down syndrome technology. As such, the cost of further development of the AttoSense assays will be immaterial to our overall R&D spend.”


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