OPKO Health’s GeneDx Announces Participation in Illumina’s iHope Program on International Rare Disease Day

MIAMI, Feb. 28, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OPKO Health, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPK), today announces that GeneDx, a subsidiary of OPKO Health, is proud to participate as a founding member in Illumina Inc.’s (NASDAQ:ILMN) iHope Network on International Rare Disease Day, which takes place today.  iHope Network is led by a group of clinical laboratory partners committed to providing clinical whole-genome sequencing (cWGS) to children with undiagnosed rare diseases. The iHope program aims to offer this advanced technology to help end diagnostic odysseys that these patients and their families endure. In addition to GeneDx, the iHope Network currently consists of the following institutions: Illumina, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and Hudson Alpha.

As an iHope Network partner, GeneDx has committed to donating 10 whole-genome sequencing tests per year. The variants identified through testing will be shared via public variant databases including ClinVar. By sharing this variant information, GeneDx continues its long-standing commitment to sharing data for better patient care while also contributing to the rare disorder community through further collaboration and research.

“We are thrilled to have GeneDx as a founding member of the iHope Network, which will transform the lives of pediatric patients with limited access to resources and who need a genetic diagnosis quickly. As a leader in the field, GeneDx’s clinical whole-genome testing will prove invaluable to these families,” said Ryan Taft, PhD, Senior Director of the Scientific Research Population and Medical Genomics Department, Illumina.

GeneDx was founded in 2000 by two scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with a mission to provide diagnostic testing for patients with rare and ultra-rare disorders. Today, GeneDx has grown into a global industry leader in genomics, having provided testing to patients and their families in over 55 countries. Led by its world-renowned whole exome sequencing program, and an unparalleled comprehensive genetic testing menu, GeneDx has a continued expertise in rare disorders. Both GeneDx and the iHope program strive to provide answers to those affected by rare diseases and to increase awareness for these disorders.

“We are delighted to become a participating partner of Illumina’s iHope Network,” said Jane Juusola, PhD, FACMG, Director of the Clinical Genomics Program, GeneDx. “As a laboratory founded to address the needs of patients diagnosed with rare genetic diseases, the very principle of the iHope program aligns with our founding mission. Through our donation of 10 whole-genome sequencing tests, we hope to bring closure to the diagnostic odysseys for children with undiagnosed rare diseases.”

About GeneDx

GeneDx is a world leader in genomics with an acknowledged expertise in rare and ultra-rare genetic disorders, as well as one of the broadest menus of sequencing services available among commercial laboratories. GeneDx provides testing to patients and their families in more than 55 countries.  GeneDx is a business unit of BioReference Laboratories, a wholly owned subsidiary of OPKO Health, Inc.  To learn more, please visit www.genedx.com.

For GeneDx’s complete list of testing options, please visit www.genedx.com or email genedx@genedx.com.  Follow on Twitter @GeneDx and become a fan on Facebook @GeneDxLab to get real-time updates.

About OPKO Health

OPKO Health is a diversified healthcare company that seeks to establish industry-leading positions in large, rapidly growing markets. Our diagnostics business includes BioReference Laboratories, the nation’s third-largest clinical laboratory with a core genetic testing business and a 400-person sales and marketing team to drive growth and leverage new products, including the 4Kscore® prostate cancer test and the Claros® 1 in-office immunoassay platform. Our pharmaceutical business features RAYALDEE, an FDA-approved treatment for SHPT in stage 3-4 CKD patients with vitamin D insufficiency (launched in November 2016), VARUBI™ for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (oral formulation launched by partner TESARO and IV formulation pending FDA approval), TT401, a once or twice weekly oxyntomodulin for type 2 diabetes and obesity which is a clinically advanced drug candidate among the new class of GLP-1 glucagon receptor dual agonists, and TT701, an androgen receptor modulator for androgen deficiency indications. Our biologics business includes hGH-CTP, a once weekly human growth hormone injection (in Phase 3 and partnered with Pfizer), a long-acting oxyntomodulin for diabetes and obesity (in Phase 1). We also have production and distribution assets worldwide, multiple strategic investments and an active business development strategy. More information available at www.opko.com.


This press release contains "forward-looking statements," as that term is defined under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA), and such statements may be identified by words such as "expects," "plans," "projects," "will," "may," "anticipates," "believes," "should," "intends," "estimates," and other words of similar meaning, including statements regarding expected benefits of the iHope program, that it will benefit patients with rare disease and better patient care, as well as other non-historical statements about our expectations, beliefs or intentions regarding our business, technologies and products, financial condition, strategies or prospects. Many factors could cause our actual activities or results to differ materially from the activities and results anticipated in forward-looking statements. These factors include those described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as the risks inherent in funding, developing and obtaining regulatory approvals of new, commercially-viable and competitive products and treatments. In addition, forward-looking statements may also be adversely affected by general market factors, competitive product development, product availability, federal and state regulations and legislation, the regulatory process for new products and indications, manufacturing issues that may arise, patent positions and litigation, among other factors. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date the statements were made, and we do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements. We intend that all forward-looking statements be subject to the safe-harbor provisions of the PSLRA.


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