29 September 2009

Brisbane, Australia ~ September 29th 2009
IMBcom – The University of Queensland’s (UQ) company for commercialising technology from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) – today announced that SEQUENOM, Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM) has taken out an exclusive licence to UQ’s Foetal Cell Isolation and Enrichment Technology.

This technology allows diagnostic screening of a foetus, using cells from a pap smear, eliminating the need for invasive techniques such as amniocentesis. This technology potentially improves the safety margin when testing for sex determination, genetic defects, paternity profile and DNA fingerprinting.

Currently prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal and single gene disorders requires the extraction of foetal cells by invasive procedures such amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS). These techniques, although reliable, are extremely complicated and require significant training and expertise of the practitioner. In addition, the current testing methods require several days to two-weeks to obtain the results and also carry an inherent risk with 0.5% - 1.0% of all cases resulting in a miscarriage. Therefore these procedures are used only when there is judged to be a significant risk of inheritance of a genetic disorder in the unborn child. UQ’s technology could potentially be used for foetal sex determination, single gene defect diagnosis, chromosomal disorder screening and paternity testing.

Dr. Peter Isdale, Chief Executive of IMBcom, said “this is an excellent result in that the diagnostic technology, which was originally developed with the support and collaboration of the Australian Genome Research Facility, will now be able to do what it was designed for - to decrease the risk of genetic screening to the foetus and the pregnant mother, and reduce the costs of the screening.”

“As we build our intellectual property across all aspects of non-invasive prenatal diagnostics the addition of this technology is an important step,” said Dereck Tatman PhD, Vice President of Business Development at Sequenom. “As the demand for prenatal diagnosis increases across the population, the ability to use different sample types will ultimately offer choices both to the clinician and the patient.”

About IMBcom
IMBcom (www.imbcom.com.au) is The University of Queensland’s company for commercialisation of biotechnology research from the University’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience.

About Sequenom
SEQUENOM, Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM – www.sequenom.com) is a life sciences company committed to improving healthcare through revolutionary genetic analysis solutions. SEQUENOM develops innovative technology, products and diagnostic tests that target and serve discovery & clinical research, and molecular diagnostics markets. The company was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

IMBcom – Christopher Price, VP Commercial Development c.price@imbcom.com.au
Sequenom, Inc – Ian Clements PhD, Sr. Director, Corporate Communications iclements@sequenom.com