VitaPath Genetics and Alere Announce Strategic Partnership for the Development of Molecular Diagnostics to Prevent Birth Defects
FOSTER CITY, Calif. and WALTHAM, Mass., August 10, 2011—VitaPath Genetics and Alere (NYSE: ALR) announced today that Alere has licensed worldwide marketing rights to VitaPath’s spina bifida risk assessment assay, which is expected to be commercially launched in 2012. The assay is a genetic test that identifies elevated risk in women of childbearing age for the common birth defect spina bifida, which can be prevented with high-dose folic acid under the care of a physician. In addition, Alere has licensed the right to develop with VitaPath additional product line extensions primarily focused in the area of fetal health. The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
“Alere brings an unparalleled global platform to support the successful launch of the spina bifida assay and potential future products that prevent birth defects,” said Bruce Cohen, President and Chief Executive Officer of VitaPath Genetics. “Importantly, this partnership validates and supports further development of our proprietary technology platform, which links biologically functional genetic mutations to serious disorders that can be prevented or remediated with safe and effective vitamin-based therapies. In doing so, we can improve quality of life for patients while also reducing overall healthcare costs.”
Ron Zwanziger, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, Alere Inc. said “Alere is committed to developing new tools to maximize the chances of a healthy pregnancy, including pre-conception technologies. VitaPath’s spina bifida assay is a great addition to this growing franchise. We look forward to working with VitaPath to launch this new test and to develop new, exciting risk assessment tools for healthy pregnancies.”
According to the Spina Bifida Association, spina bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States. Spina bifida occurs when the backbone and spinal canal do not close completely in the first month of pregnancy.
VitaPath’s investors include Mohr Davidow Ventures and X/Seed Capital Management. Ferghana Partners, a specialist life sciences investment bank in Boston, New York and London, originated the transaction and advised VitaPath Genetics.
About VitaPath Genetics
VitaPath Genetics develops molecular assays to predict disorders that can be prevented or safely treated with vitamin-based therapeutics. VitaPath’s discovery and clinical validation platform focuses on common and rare functional genetic variants that are associated with serious disease and can be remediated with minimal risk. In doing so, VitaPath aims to improve the quality of life for patients while reducing the overall cost of healthcare. For more information, please visit www.vpgenetics.com.
By developing new capabilities in near-patient diagnosis, monitoring and health management, Alere enables individuals to take charge of improving their health and quality of life at home. Alere’s global leading products and services, as well as its new product development efforts, focus on infectious disease, cardiology, oncology, drugs of abuse and women’s health. Alere is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. For additional information on Alere, please visit www.alere.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Such forward-looking statements are estimates reflecting management’s best judgment based upon current information and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results and the timing of certain events could differ materially from those projected or contemplated by the forward-looking statements due to numerous factors, including without limitation, changes in global economic conditions or in the global financial markets, including the credit markets; the ability to successfully develop and commercialize products; the market acceptance of our products; the effects of legislative changes, including US healthcare reform legislation; the content and timing of decisions by regulatory authorities both in the United States and abroad; and the risks and uncertainties described in Alere’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Form 10-K, as amended, for the year ended December 31, 2010, as well as in its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. The parties undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein.