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-- Lead Genetic Tests Utilize Next-Generation Sequencing and Proprietary ZiphyrT Bioinformatics Platform to Diagnosis Mitochondrial Disease --

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 5:45am
The Associated Press

WOBURN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar 29, 2012-- Courtagen Life Sciences, Inc., a privately held life sciences company that provides innovative proteomic and genomic products and services to the life sciences industry, today announced the introduction of their first genetic tests using next generation sequencing (NGS) technology, propriety bioinformatics platform and highly annotated, analytic capabilities to diagnose mitochondrial disease in children and adults.

The Courtagen tests, which are designed to be highly sensitive, efficient and comprehensive, will address the significant need for a quicker, less invasive and more reliable diagnostic tool for this patient population. The company will expand the menu of test options later this year ultimately offering a combination of multiplex proteomic and NGS genomic assays, utilizing Illumina's MiSeq(R) and HiSeq(R) platforms, as they continue rapid expansion of capabilities.

Later this year, Courtagen intends to release the first version of its "omics app" that will enhance their physician client's ability to quickly and easily incorporate the company's proteomic and genomic testing results into the medical evaluation process.

Mitochondrial disease denotes a large group of disorders caused by dysfunctional mitochondria, which are generally the result of genetic mutation. In these disorders, the body lacks the ability to produce adequate energy to perform all of its functions. The body systems most dependent on this energy are the brain, muscle, heart, kidneys and liver. Courtagen's initial tests, mtSEEKPDx(TM), use next-generation sequencing technologies to complete a deep heteroplasmy analysis of the Mitochondrial DNA genome involved in mitochondrial function and energy metabolism.

"Courtagen is committed to building a dynamic life sciences company leveraging our unparalleled breadth and depth of expertise in genomic sequencing and proteomic platforms," said Brian McKernan, Chief Executive Officer of Courtagen Life Sciences. "We believe our initial genetic tests for Mitochondrial disease will provide a clinical meaningful tool to healthcare providers and patients, and will be the first step in our goal to enable precision medicine - diagnostics that are truly person-centered and multifaceted. I am extremely proud of the rapid progress the Courtagen team has made on moving our both our proteomic and genomic initiatives forward." Courtagen recently received certification from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 for its genomic sequencing laboratory in Woburn, Massachusetts and has also achieved Massachusetts State Licensing, enabling the company to begin processing clinical samples from most states.

Courtagen is one of the few commercial service laboratories in the country that has received CLIA certification for Next-Generation Sequencing assays. Courtagen is also pursuing certification in the states of Maryland, Rhode Island, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, and California.

About Mitochondrial Disease According to my mitoaction.org, Mitochondrial disease is a chronic, genetic disorder that occurs when the mitochondria of the cell fails to produce enough energy for cell or organ function. About one in 4,000 children in the United States will develop mitochondrial disease by the age of 10 years. This is similar to the incidence of cystic fibrosis among Caucasian births in the U.S. There are many forms of mitochondrial disease, it is inherited in a number of different ways, and presents very differently from individual to individual. There may be one affected individual in a family or several affected over a number of generations. Lack of understanding of the disease and misinterpretation of symptoms can lead to misdiagnosis and further progression of symptoms can occur if the symptoms are missed and opportunities for treatment and support are not recognized.

About Courtagen Life Sciences, Inc.

Courtagen Life Sciences is a privately held life science company that provides innovative proteomic and genomic products and services to the Life Sciences industry. Founded by innovators in next-generation sequencing (NGS), genetics, molecular biology, and information science, our company delivers tools that enable researchers and clinicians to make better decisions regarding drug development and patient care. Courtagen provides proteomic and genomic solutions through its various operating divisions. More information can be found at www.courtagen.com.

CONTACT: Courtagen Elizabeth Holland, 617-892-7178 Vice President or (Media) Suda Communications LLC Maureen L. Suda, 585-387-9248 KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA MASSACHUSETTS INDUSTRY KEYWORD: HEALTH BIOTECHNOLOGY CLINICAL TRIALS GENETICS MEDICAL DEVICES RESEARCH SCIENCE SOURCE: Courtagen Life Sciences, Inc.

Copyright Business Wire 2012 PUB: 03/29/2012 08:15 AM/DISC: 03/29/2012 08:15 AM http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120329005118/

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