Medical Device Daily

Illumina (San Diego) reported a collaboration with the Institute of Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT) at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), the Broad Institute, and theNational Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI, Bethesda, Maryland) Candidate-gene Association REsource Consortium (CARe) to develop a customized chip for vascular disease.

Called the IBC (ITMAT, Broad, CARe) chip, this array will be developed to analyze more than 55,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in candidate genes selected for cardiovascular and other associated phenotypes. Using Illumina’s iSelect Custom Genotyping BeadChip, researchers will assess the genetic diversity within pathways of about 2,100 genes believed to underpin primary and secondary vascular disease processes, such as blood pressure, myocardial infarction, heart failure, stroke, insulin resistance, metabolic disorders, dyslipidemia (changes in lipid levels in the blood), and inflammation. At the study’s completion, more than 120,000 samples from large population studies and clinical trials will be analyzed for genetic links to vascular disease.

The collaboration, led by the University of Pennsylvania, the Broad Institute and the CARe Consortium is the first major cardiovascular initiative to use the iSelect Infinium Custom Genotyping array. iSelect custom panels enable researchers to focus on specific disease-related or pathway-related SNPs. The multi-sample BeadChip format increases throughput and shortens sample processing time.

“The University of Pennsylvania’s interest in customizing this genotyping panel to tackle vascular-disease research underscores the creative ways the research community is working with Illumina to unravel the complexities of human disease,” said Jay Flatley, president/CEO of Illumina. “Our whole-genome genotyping technology continues to raise industry standards by delivering unparalleled data quality, format and content flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. This is helping researchers accelerate discoveries that will help us better understand, cure, and ultimately prevent disease.”

Illumina is a developer of life-science tools and integrated systems for the large-scale analysis of genetic variation and biological function.

In other agreements:

• Affymetrix (Santa Clara, California) and Partners HealthCare (Boston) reported that they have extended their translation research collaboration with a new contract array manufacturing (CAM) supply agreement, enabling Partners researchers to transform recent microarray discoveries into fully validated, laboratory-developed molecular diagnostic tests. The array-based tests will help physicians better diagnose and tailor treatments for individual patients, the companies said.

Affymetrix will create custom microarrays based on the recent discovery data from Partners researchers. The arrays will be used to produce molecular diagnostic tests, which will then be validated and implemented in Partners HealthCare’s CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments)-certified environments. The team at Partners will begin focusing on array-based tests for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and will explore many indications in a large number of diseases.

The latest agreement builds on the success of the parties’ translational research collaboration. For the past year, researchers at Harvard Medical School (Boston), Partners HealthCare and HPCGG have been using the Affymetrix technology to identify genetic sequences and signatures associated with a number of complex diseases.

Affymetrix’ GeneChip microarray platform offers a number of unique benefits and advantages for developing and implementing molecular diagnostic tests. The cost-effective array format enables researchers to analyze more genetic content per test, and the proven GeneChip® system is the only microarray instrumentation platform cleared for use in molecular diagnostic laboratories in both the U.S. and European Union.

Partners is an integrated healthcare delivery system.

• Language Access Network (LAN; Columbus, Ohio), reported that Miami Valley Hospital , (Dayton, Ohio) has signed a two year service agreement for MARTTI (My Accessible Real Time Trusted Interpreter), the company’s live video/audio interpretation service.

LAN will now provide Miami Valley Hospital with live video/audio interpretation services for American Sign Language (ASL) for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, Spanish, and 150 other languages, to its more than 800,000 patient encounters a year.

Miami Valley Hospital will be billed for the video/audio interpretation service on a per minute usage fee, with a minimum usage requirement of 1,000 minutes a month.

LAN estimates an average of 20% of all patients in the U.S. are limited English proficient, deaf and hard-of-hearing, or do not speak English well. LAN estimates that each patient encounter in a hospital environment, ER, Labor and Delivery, Clinic, etc. lasts between 7-12 minutes of time on the MARTTI unit, with a cost range of $1.75-$2.95 per minute.

All institutions receiving federal money are required through the American Disabilities Act and Civil Rights Act are required to provide interpretation services free of charge to deaf and hard-of-hearing and limited English-proficient patients.

LAN offers video language interpretation services for 150 foreign languages and American Sign Language.