SOURCE: Linkage Biosciences

Linkage Biosciences

October 19, 2010 09:00 ET

Linkage Biosciences Expands HLA Menu and Adds Companion Diagnostics

World's First HLA Typing Technology for Real-Time PCR Instruments

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - October 19, 2010) - Linkage Biosciences, Inc., a privately held molecular diagnostics company, recently announced the launch of several new products at the annual meeting of the American Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI) in Hollywood, Florida. The new products expand the LinkSēq™ HLA product line and provide additional tools for clinical transplantation, pharma, and immunogenetics research and development. The company also announced new companion diagnostic products targeting specific genetic markers.

Linkage began reaching out to the transplant and immunogenetics community last year after unveiling LinkSēq. The company is reporting a strong positive response from both domestic and international customers.

"We have been using LinkSēq since last spring and we are pleased with the results," said Dr. David Senitzer, Histocompatibility Laboratory Director at the City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, California. "The simplified workflow allows our lab to be more efficient, and the software system eliminates the analysis bottleneck. We get results more quickly and this is an important point for us."

Linkage's new products include tests for HLA-DQ, HLA-B5701 and a genetic marker for Celiac Disease.

"Customers were asking for an HLA-DQ test," said Zachary Antovich, CEO of Linkage Biosciences. "They were also telling us they needed to type both alpha and beta subunits (rather than beta only) so we made sure to deliver both. LinkSēq technology is the world's first HLA typing product that takes advantage of the power of real-time PCR platforms and offers the simplest, fastest workflow available. We are excited to launch these additional products to support our customers' needs."

Linkage also announced new products targeting the expanding companion diagnostics market. "We are finding more interest in specific HLA typing needs for pharmacogenomics," continued Antovich. "For example, B5701 testing is required to screen HIV patients to avoid an adverse reaction with the anti-HIV drug abacavir. The B5701 marker is also associated with liver injury caused by the antibiotic, flucloxicillin. Analogously, an HLA-DQ marker is associated with a higher risk of adverse reactions with Novartis' osteoarthritis drug lumiracoxib."

Linkage says the company is exploring companion diagnostic products in various areas and believes its technology is more efficient and flexible to meet both low to very high throughput needs, and these advantages ultimately translate into cost savings for customers.

LinkSēq's innovative chemistry offers a streamlined workflow, which is a clear advantage over current molecular HLA typing products. Other HLA products rely on two techniques: a PCR amplification step followed by either gel electrophoresis or one of several probing technologies. LinkSēq is a one-step method that combines two techniques into one: PCR and fluorescence detection. After a sample is added, it is sealed and never opened again. SureTyper™ analysis software is used to automate the entire process.

About Linkage Biosciences
Linkage Biosciences, Inc. is a privately held molecular diagnostics company developing and marketing products that dramatically improve and expedite complex genetic testing. LinkSēq, the company's HLA testing product line, is used in immunogenetics research. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California and has assembled an outstanding management and scientific team. To learn more please visit

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