BioReference Laboratories Inc announces that it is now offering next generation sequencing testing for Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) conditions through its GeneDx laboratory.

GeneDx is the first commercial laboratory in the country to offer clinical testing based on next generation sequencing, full genome sequencing provided through high-speed, high throughput computer-based analysis.

After nearly two years of development, GeneDx has designed software that enables the laboratory to provide focused, multi-gene diagnostic analysis of complex cases spanning multiple genes. GeneDx first pioneered the use of this platform previously with its test for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), which it began offering in September 2008.

DCM is a condition that may affect as much as 14% or more of the middle-aged and elderly population. It is estimated that 20% to 40% of patients diagnosed with idiopathic cardiomyopathy may have a genetic etiology to their condition. The new GeneDx DCM test will allow cardiologists to identify patients with a genetic basis to their dilated cardiac condition. The HCM test that GeneDx began offering last fall is responsible for over 30% of young athletes who die suddenly and HCM testing is able to stratify risk for genetic causes of a thickened heart.

Marc D. Grodman MD, President, noted: "Clinicians don’t order tests by ordering specific mutations, they order tests in response to clinical questions. We acquired GeneDx three years ago with the intention of being able to make complex genetic testing available to the general physician population.

“There were many hurdles to overcome. There were no commercially available platforms for the complex genetic testing that is required in these complex, multi-gene cases. There was no software available to enable the highly focused clinical diagnosis necessary for these highly specific conditions. There were and continue to be many relevant clinical genetic questions that will enable clinicians to provide better healthcare, but the platforms have never before existed on a commercial basis to provide answers to these questions for providers. Our DCM and HCM tests change that. We are now able to provide timely, affordable, meaningful answers to complex genetic questions."

Dr Grodman stated: "GeneDx already provides testing for more than 250 rare disease conditions based on over 200 genes utilizing traditional DNA sequencing. These tests have secured a reputation for GeneDx as a premier genetic laboratory. It has been nearly two years since we introduced oligonucleotide CGH array testing for genetic screening of constitutional conditions. GeneDx quickly became a preferred laboratory for CGH testing. We are now the first commercial lab in the country to offer next generation testing for DCM and HCM and we are preparing other tests based on the nextgen platform to address other clinical conditions. We are proud to be a pioneer in this extremely important area of clinical testing and we believe that the testing we are currently developing will pave the way for the next generation of clinical testing."

Source: Bioreference Laboratories Inc