Sequenom

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Sequenom
Type Public company
Traded as NYSESQNM
Industry Biotechnology
Headquarters

San Diego

San Diego, USA
Products MassARRAY, iPLEX SNP genotyping kits, MaterniT21 PLUS, RetnaGene AMD, Heredi-T Cystic Fibrosis Carrier Screening Test, SensiGene RHD Genotyping Test
Services SNP genotyping, methylation detection, quantitative gene expression
Website Official site

Sequenom (NASDAQSQNM) is a manufacturer of DNA massarrays, based in San Diego, California. The MassARRAY platform is used for SNP genotyping, methylation detection and quantitative gene expression analysis. Sequenom's wholly owned subsidiarity, Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine (SCMM), also offers clinical molecular genetics testing, such as MaterniT21 PLUS, a noninvasive prenatal test for trisomy 21, trisomy 18, and trisomy 13, RetnaGene AMD a genetic test for risk of progression for age-related macular degeneration, Heredi-T Cystic Fibrosis Screening Test, and the SensiGene Fetal RHD Genotyping Test.

In June 2014 the company sold its biosciences unit to Agena Bioscience for up to $35.8 million.[1]

Competition[edit]

Companies also offering non-invasive prenatal genetic testing include Ariosa,[2] Ravgen,[3] Illumina (Verinata Health),[4] and Natera (The Panorama Prenatal Test),.[5] Other companies and universities that are working towards developing non-invasive prenatal testing include Stanford University,.[6]

Patent litigation[edit]

In January 2012, Sequenom entered a patent battle with competing companies, Ariosa and Natera, accusing them of infringing the "540 patent" (US 6258540 ).[7] The cases are Sequenom Inc. v. Natera Inc. 12-cv-0184, and Sequenom v. Ariosa Diagnostics Inc., 12-cv-0189, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego).

Verinatal Health and Stanford University later filed suit against Sequenom in a dispute over the 'Quake patent'. Verinata claims that Sequenom's lawyers sent it a letter in 2010 alleging that "'the practice of non-invasive prenatal diagnostics, including diagnosis of the Down Syndrome and other genetic disorders, using cell-free nucleic acids in a sample of maternal blood infringes' the '540 patent, as well as the claims of a pending United States Patent Application."[8] The '540 patent was invented by Isis Ltd. and expires in 2017.

Stanford University owns the Quake patents and licensing rights; Verinata is its exclusive licensee.[8]

In April 2012, Sequenom acquired two pending patents from Helicos Biosciences. In consideration for the sale and transfer of the purchased assets, Sequenom paid Helicos $1.3 million. The Helicos patent applications (US Patent application 12/709,057 and 12/727,824) cover methods for detecting fetal nucleic acids and diagnosing fetal abnormalities.[9]

In July 2012, The United States District Court denied Sequenom's motion for a preliminary injunction motion against Ariosa Diagnostics.[10]

In August 2013, The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated the District Court decision and remanded that case to the District Court.[11]

SEQureDx scandal[edit]

In 2009, Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine (SCMM) was expected to launch the SEQureDx prenatal screening tests for Down syndrome and Rhesus D. Subsequent investigation revealed significant flaws in the studies of the test's effectiveness.[12] As a result, the board of directors of Sequenom fired CEO Harry Stylli, senior vice president of research and development Elizabeth Dragon and three other employees after a probe discovered that the company had failed to adequately supervise its Down syndrome test. CFO Paul Hawran also resigned. Board chairman Harry F. Hixson Jr. was named interim CEO and director Ronald M. Lindsay was appointed to replace Dragon. Dragon has since been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) because she "lied to the public about the accuracy of Sequenom's prenatal screening test for Down syndrome".[13] She died on February 26, 2011.[14][15]

In 2010, Sequenom paid $14 million to settle a shareholder class-action lawsuit that arose from the errors in the development of the Down syndrome test.[16] Sequenom executives are under investigation by the SEC for insider trading before announcement of problems with the test.[17][18]

On September 1, 2011 Sequenom entered into a cease-and-desist order with SEC.[19]

MaterniT21 PLUS[edit]

MaterniT21 PLUS is Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine's prenatal test for trisomy 21 Down syndrome, trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome) and trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome). The test operates by sampling cell-free DNA in the mother's blood, which contains some DNA from the fetus. The proportions of DNA from sequences from chromosome 21, 18, or 13 can indicate whether the fetus has trisomy in that chromosome. In a randomized controlled trial of 1,696 pregnancies at high risk for Down syndrome, the test correctly identified 98.6% of the actual cases of Down syndrome (209 out of 212), with a false positive rate of 0.2% (3 of 1471 pregnancies without Down); the test gave no result in 0.8% of the cases tested (13 of 1696).[20]

The primary advantage of MaterniT21 PLUS over the other major high accuracy tests for Down syndrome, Amniocentesis and Chorionic villus sampling, is that MaterniT21 PLUS is noninvasive.[20] Because amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling are invasive, they have a chance of causing miscarriage.[21]

History[edit]

On August 4, 2011, Sequenom said it would call its new blood test for Down syndrome in pregnancy MaterniT21 when the product went on sale in the United States.[22][23][24][25]

On August 11, 2011, Sequenom announced European licensing agreement with LifeCodexx. The companies agreed to collaborate in the development and launch of a trisomy 21 laboratory-developed test and other aneuploidies testing in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein, with the potential for additional launches in other countries. Under the initial five year licensing agreement, Sequenom granted LifeCodexx licenses to key patent rights, including European Patent EP0994963B1 and pending application EP2183693A1 that enable the development and commercialization of a non-invasive aneuploidy test utilizing circulating cell-free fetal DNA in maternal plasma.[26]

On October 24, 2011 International Society of Prenatal Diagnostics (ISPD) issued a rapid response statement in response to the launch of Sequenom non-invasive Trisomy 21 (MaterniT21) test.[27]

On October 17, 2011 Sequenom announced that a clinical validation study leading to the introduction of the MaterniT21 LDT had been published in the journal Genetics in Medicine.[28] On October 17, 2011 Sequenom Center for Molecular Medicine announced the launch of MaterniT21 Noninvasive Prenatal Test for Down Syndrome.[25]

MassARRAY Analyzer 4[edit]

Sequenom Oncomap Version 3 – "core" set interrogates ~450 mutations in 35 genes. An "extended" set interrogates ~700 mutations in 113 genes.[29]

Sequenom OncoCarta(OncoMap) identifies 396 unique "druggable" or "actionable" mutations in 33 cancer genes. In total, 417 mutations are identified.[30][31][32][33]

MassARRAY spectrometry is more sensitive than PreTect HPV-Proofer and Consensus PCR for type-specific detection of high-risk oncogenic human papillomavirus genotypes in cervical cancer.[34]

iPLEX ADME PGx Panel on MassARRAY System[edit]

On October 4, 2011 Sequenom introduced iPLEX ADME PGx Panel on MassARRAY System, developed to genotype polymorphisms in genes associated with drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME). This Research Use Only (RUO) panel contains a set of pre-designed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP), insertions and deletions (INDELS) and copy number variation (CNV) assays for use in the investigation of variants with demonstrated relevance to drug metabolism. After detection on the MassARRAY (RUO) system, a proprietary software solution is then used to score and qualify polymorphisms to create a unique haplotype report.[35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sequenom sells bioscience unit". Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. 
  2. ^ "Ariosa Diagnostics". Ariosa. 
  3. ^ "A Noninasive Test to Determine Paternity in Pregnancy". The New England Journal of Medicine. 
  4. ^ "Verinata". Verinata. 
  5. ^ "The Panorama Prenatal Test | Natera". Genesecurity.net. Retrieved 2012-09-23. 
  6. ^ "Non-invasive prenatal test for Down's syndrome developed". BioNews. 
  7. ^ "Sequenom Accuses Aria, Natera of Patent Infringement". Businessweek. January 26, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Courthouse News Service". Courthousenews.com. February 24, 2012. 
  9. ^ Business Wire (April 16, 2012). "Helicos BioSciences Corporation Announces Prenatal Diagnostics IP Sale to Sequenom". Business Wire. 
  10. ^ "UPDATE 1-U.S. court denies Sequenom's motion against Ariosa". Reuters. July 6, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  11. ^ http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/images/stories/opinions-orders/12-1531.Opinion.8-7-2013.1.PDF
  12. ^ Sequenom shares plunge after probe reveals test flaws, MarketWatch, Sept. 28, 2009
  13. ^ SEC filing[dead link]
  14. ^ "Elizabeth Alice Dragon Obituary". East Valley Tribune. 
  15. ^ "Death of an Insider: R&D Chief Passes Before She Can Testify in Stock Fraud Case". CBS Money Watch. 
  16. ^ Sequenom in $14 million settlement over test delay, Reuters, Jan 15, 2010
  17. ^ "SEC filing". Sec.gov. 
  18. ^ Did Sequenom Insiders Sell Stock Before Data Corruption Was Revealed?, Jim Edwards, Nov 10, 2009
  19. ^ http://www.sec.gov/litigation/admin/2011/34-65247.pdf
  20. ^ a b Palomaki, GE. "DNA sequencing of maternal plasma to detect Down syndrome: an international clinical validation study.". Genetics in Medicine. 
  21. ^ "Noninvasive test identifies more than 98% of Down syndrome cases – OBG Management". Obgmanagement.com. 
  22. ^ Darce, Keith. "Sequenom names new Down syndrome genetic test". Union Tribune San Diego. 
  23. ^ "Sequenom, Inc. Reports Financial Results for the Second quarter of 2011 – Aug 4, 2011". Sequenom.investorroom.com. 
  24. ^ http://www.sequenom.com/Files/PDF-Documents/MaterniT21_Launch_Presentation/
  25. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  26. ^ [2][dead link]
  27. ^ http://www.ispdhome.org/public/news/2011/ISPD_RapidResponse_MPS_24Oct11.pdf
  28. ^ [3][dead link]
  29. ^ [4]
  30. ^ "Profiling Critical Cancer Gene Mutations in Clinical Tumor Samples". Plos One. 
  31. ^ "March 2010 | Sequenom, Inc". Sequenom.com. January 20, 2010. 
  32. ^ "March 2011 | Sequenom, Inc". Sequenom.com. November 1, 2005. 
  33. ^ "MassARRAY Analyzer 4 | Sequenom, Inc". Sequenom.com. 
  34. ^ "MassARRAY spectrometry is more sensitive th... [J Clin Microbiol. 2011] – PubMed – NCBI". Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. April 4, 2012. 
  35. ^ [5][dead link]

External links[edit]