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SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Aug. 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fluidigm Corporation (NASDAQ:FLDM), an innovative biotechnology tools provider with a vision to improve life through comprehensive health insight, today announced that it has entered into a collaboration with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to develop epigenetic signatures that could identify exposure to weapons of mass destruction. Funded by an award of up to $27.8 million from the Epigenetic CHaracterization and Observation (ECHO) program of the U.S. Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Fluidigm will receive up to $3.9 million over four years to develop a single-cell measurement device to identify epigenetic changes in human blood using microfluidics technologies.
The epigenome contains a record of chemical modifications to DNA and histone proteins that regulate gene expression. These patterns vary both among individuals and within a given individual or cell population. When dysregulated, epigenetic errors can lead to a number of diseases including cancer and degenerative disorders.
“The human epigenome offers an ideal molecular record to detect individuals who have been exposed to harmful environmental agents, even after the chemical or infectious agent is gone,” said Stuart Sealfon, MD, Director of the Center for Advanced Research on Diagnostic Assays at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and principal investigator of the study. “Our ultimate goal is to develop an assay that we can use to rapidly detect exposure of military troops to threatening agents in the future so that appropriate actions can be taken.”
“Since individual cells will respond to agents in different ways, we will be using single-cell analysis to identify the novel epigenetic signatures,” continued Sealfon. “Fluidigm’s microfluidic assay expertise, shown in their C1™, Biomark™ and Polaris™ instruments, makes them the perfect partner for this research program.”
Fluidigm microfluidics technology is ideal for automating single-cell workflows involving different chemistries, performing complex multi-step reactions not possible using droplet technologies. Information obtained from the collaboration will be used to accelerate the development of future microfluidics systems for advanced applications.
“We are proud to collaborate with Mount Sinai in this landmark epigenetics project,” said Chris Linthwaite, President and CEO of Fluidigm. “This partnership will enable us to accelerate the development of our microfluidics technologies for development of new applications and systems that extend beyond epigenetics. Core to our growth strategy, this technology development will help us expand into new markets and penetrate segments that we do not address today.”
Fluidigm (NASDAQ:FLDM) is an industry-leading biotechnology tools provider with a vision to improve life through comprehensive health insight. We focus on the most pressing needs in translational and clinical research, including cancer, immunology, and immunotherapy. Using proprietary CyTOF® and microfluidics technologies, we develop, manufacture, and market multi-omic solutions to drive meaningful insights in health and disease, identify biomarkers to inform decisions, and accelerate the development of more effective therapies. Our customers are leading academic, government, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and plant and animal research laboratories worldwide. Together with them, we strive to increase the quality of life for all. For more information, visit fluidigm.com.
Fluidigm, the Fluidigm logo, Biomark, C1, CyTOF, and Polaris are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Fluidigm Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the sole property of their respective owners. Fluidigm products are provided for Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.
Forward-Looking Statement for Fluidigm
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, among others, statements regarding anticipated benefits to Fluidigm of a collaboration, including potential payments for development work thereunder and Fluidigm product development and growth. Forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from currently anticipated results, including but not limited to risks relating to challenges inherent in developing, manufacturing, launching, marketing, and selling new products; potential product performance and quality issues; intellectual property risks; and competition. Information on these and additional risks and uncertainties and other information affecting Fluidigm business and operating results is contained in Fluidigm’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, and in its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Fluidigm disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements except as may be required by law.
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