Lab21 to market deCODE genetic tests for  common diseases in UK

13 August 2008

Cambridge company Lab21 Limited has entered into a partnership with Icelandic company deCODE genetics (Nasdaq:DCGN), to offer deCODE’s tests for predisposition to a growing number of common diseases.

Lab21 offers molecular diagnostic services for disease identification, disease predisposition and personalised medicine.

The licence allows Lab21 to offer its clients in the UK and Ireland access to state-of-the-art new tests for type 2 diabetes, myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation, prostate cancer and glaucoma.

This agreement means Lab21 now has licences with three major genetic test providers; deCODE, Myriad and PGxHealth, and is currently the only service provider in Europe to offer such an extensive range.

deCODE, a biopharmaceutical company based in Reykjavik, Iceland, is widely regarded as being the global leader in the development of tests for validated genetic markers that confer risk of common diseases.

In addition, the license will allow Lab21 to offer a pipeline of new tests as they are developed by deCODE, including one for increased risk of oestrogen-positive breast cancer. All deCODE tests have been validated in thousands of patients and controls from multiple populations; have full regulatory approval; and will be handled through Lab21’s clinical service laboratory in Cambridge.

Dr Berwyn Clarke, Chief Science and Development Officer at Lab21 said: “Genetic testing is becoming an increasingly important part of medicine. In many patients, awareness of clinical predisposition can provide critical early warnings of the possible development of disease and vital pre-emptive and precautionary measures such as dietary factors, detailed screening or pharmaceutical intervention can be implemented. This is critical as we work to shift the focus of healthcare from intervention to prevention. Our agreement with deCODE will ensure clinicians can provide their patients with the most accurate and timely information.”

Lab21’s range of genetic tests now includes tests for breast, ovarian, skin and colorectal cancer, a comprehensive portfolio of tests for cardiovascular disease and now, with deCODE’s tests for type 2 diabetes, prostate cancer and exfoliating glaucoma, the first ones in new disease areas.

Graham Mullis, CEO of Lab21 added: “We are extremely pleased to have completed this deal, as it ensures we are able to provide our customers with the widest range of high quality genetic tests in Europe, illustrating Lab21’s commitment to being a leading provider of cutting edge diagnostics.”

Kari Stefansson, CEO of deCODE genetics, said: “We are very pleased to have Lab21 offering our tests in the UK and Ireland. Lab21 knows the market and has proven capabilities in marketing logistics and customer service. We believe this partnership will enable us to better leverage the potential of our growing product portfolio, reaching more physicians and healthcare systems and raising the profile of our innovative tests in the UK and Ireland.”

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