Spinoff venture will develop genomic sequencing solutions utilizing Ion Torrent technology for clinical applications
Boston Children’s Hospital has partnered with Life Technologies Corporation to launch Claritas Genomics, a new company formed to develop next-generation, genetic and genomics-based diagnostic testing solutions. The venture combines advanced instrumentation, software and bioinformatics capabilities with sophisticated clinical interpretation of test results and consultation by specialist physicians and medical genomics experts at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Claritas Genomics, majority-owned by Children’s, will incorporate the expertise, assets and personnel of the hospital’s Genetic Diagnostic Lab, a CLIA-certified center that already offers more than 100 genetic tests, including many specialized diagnostics developed at Boston Children’s. It will leverage Life Technologies’ Ion Proton® Sequencer, a fast, accurate benchtop technology that can readily be scaled for mass application for new tests that the company plans to develop.
“While a number of academic and private ventures are offering genomic sequencing and molecular diagnostics to the public, no other partnership has integrated all the elements—fast, accurate genomic sequencing, bioinformatics, CLIA expertise and access to researchers and clinicians who can interpret the data in a meaningful way,” said Sandra Fenwick, president and chief operating officer of Boston Children's. “We want to advance the standard of care, create a seamless experience and extend it to children and adults across the U.S. and around the world.”
“Our investment in Claritas Genomics is a prime example of strategic partnerships Life Technologies is entering into to accelerate the use of accurate genomic information in medical practice,” said Greg Lucier, chairman and chief executive officer of Life Technologies. “This new venture serves as a model for future endeavors to demonstrate the validation of our Ion Torrent technology in an integrated laboratory workflow designed for clinical applications related to pediatrics and inherited diseases.”
Claritas Genomics will seek to validate the Ion Proton® Sequencer’s clinical utility and tests developed on the platform for clinical use. For Boston Children’s Hospital, a leader in applying knowledge about genomic variation for patient care and basic research, the formation of the company is a strategic opportunity to assure its physicians and scientists access to best-in-world genomic science and to share its expertise in genomic interpretation widely.
“Boston Children’s has already invested significantly to accelerate genomic discovery for patients with rare diseases, cancer and autism, and to profile individual responses to medications. We now have a practical paradigm for taking genetic and genomic research discoveries to the bedside, and we’re excited to be able to scale up and offer this capability to patients everywhere,” said David Margulies, MD, executive director of the Gene Partnership at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Through a set of network collaborations and via electronic communications, we plan to provide interpretive services around the world.”
The new company is developing relationships with other U.S. and international children’s hospitals to create a network of top-tier pediatric academic centers that can share data, especially important for rare diseases that require large numbers of patients to discover genetic markers.
Mr. Lucier announced the company’s formation today at the 2013 J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.
Boston Children’s Hospital is home to the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 1,100 scientists, including nine members of the National Academy of Sciences, 11 members of the Institute of Medicine and nine members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Boston Children’s research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Boston Children’s today is a 395-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Boston Children’s also is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information about research and clinical innovation at Boston Children’s, visit: http://vectorblog.org/.
Ion Proton® Sequencer is for research use only, not for use in diagnostic procedures.