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Orion Genomics Enters Discovery Collaboration and License Agreement to Advance Personalized Diagnostics
Date:10/12/2009

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Orion Genomics today announced that it has entered into a multi-year collaboration and license agreement with the molecular diagnostics unit of Novartis Pharma AG. Under the collaboration, the parties seek to discover novel epigenetic biomarkers, and both parties have rights to independently develop and commercialize diagnostic products in their respective fields. Under the terms of the agreement, Orion Genomics also grants Novartis non-exclusive world-wide rights to its proprietary MethylScreen clinical assay technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Epigenetic changes can play a key role in certain disease biology, and could lead to the development of important new diagnostic tools," said Nathan D. Lakey, President and CEO of Orion Genomics. "Ultimately, our collaboration with Novartis Molecular Diagnostics aims to support the development of innovative tests which we hope will provide physicians and patients with better information to guide treatment decisions."

The collaboration will leverage Orion Genomics' MethylScope® Technology to build high-resolution genome-wide DNA methylation maps for the discovery of epigenetic biomarkers in multiple disease fields. Novartis also obtains a non-exclusive license to MethylScreen® Technology, Orion's PCR-based clinical assay platform that quantitatively detects epigenetic biomarkers in patient samples. Under the agreement, Orion and Novartis intend to develop and commercialize promising diagnostic products that address various stages of disease. Resulting diagnostic tests could lead to advances in personalized medicine, potentially helping doctors optimize the treatment of patients.

"Science is revealing that epigenetics is a potent driver of disease biology and therapeutic response and a potential linchpin in the efforts to make personalized medicine a reality," said Howard McLeod, Professor of Medicine and Pharmacy and Directo
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SOURCE Orion Genomics
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