April 5, 2007

The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) has formed a research collaboration with Illumina Inc to develop molecular diagnostic tests to screen newborn babies for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and hemoglobinopathies.

Illumina and CHEO will initially develop assays to screen newborns for SMA and hemoglobinopathies using the company’s VeraCode technology run on the BeadXpress reader. Illumina will gain global commercialization rights to assays developed under the collaboration.

SMA is the number one genetic killer of infants and toddlers but there is hope that the disorder maybe treatable if the gene mutation that causes it is detected early.

Illumina’s VeraCode technology uses digital holographic codes to provide a robust detection method for multiplex assays requiring high precision, accuracy, and speed. The technology, combined with the company’s BeadXpress reader, support the rapid detection and analysis of a wide range of assays.

For more information, visit the company’s Web site.