Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Orchid to Identify World Trade Center Victims Using SNP Technology

August 29, 2002, prnewswire, Orchid to Identify World Trade Center Victims Using SNP Technology

PRINCETON, N.J., Aug. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Orchid BioSciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: ORCH) today announced that it has been awarded a contract by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City to help identify remains of victims of the World Trade Center disaster. Under the agreement, Orchid will use its single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis technology, SNP-IT(TM), to analyze unidentified DNA samples collected from the World Trade Center disaster site.

Approximately 49 percent of the almost 3,000 people who perished at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 have been identified using a variety of forensic techniques, including DNA analysis. However, the DNA in more than half of the remains is so damaged or degraded that these methods have not yielded useful results. In a pilot program conducted with New York City officials, Orchid researchers have demonstrated that panels of SNPs, the smallest and most common element of genetic variation between individuals, can enable the identification of additional victims from DNA specimens that have failed previous attempts.

"The combined efforts of leading public and private labs have resulted in positive identification of the remains of many World Trade Center victims, but a large number remain unidentified," said Robert Shaler, M.D., director of forensic biology for the New York City Medical Examiner's Office.

"As part of our commitment to identify as many victims as possible, we are pleased to be collaborating with Orchid, whose unique scientific approach has the potential to help us further achieve this important goal."

Orchid Cellmark, the DNA forensic unit of Orchid BioSciences, has drawn on Orchid's prior work with The SNP Consortium, a leading public-private partnership to discover SNPs, to develop the SNP panels being used for the World Trade Center project. The DNA samples provided by the New York City Medical Examiner's Office will be analyzed using these SNP panels and Orchid's SNPstream(R) UHT, an innovative new system capable of analyzing more than 800,000 SNPs per day.

Further details of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Orchid is honored to have the opportunity to work with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on this important project," said Dale Pfost, Ph.D., chairman, president and chief executive officer of Orchid. "We are optimistic that Orchid's pioneering work in applying SNP technologies to new uses will make possible the identification of additional victims of the World Trade Center disaster and thereby help to bring some measure of comfort to their families and friends."
A single nucleotide polymorphism, or SNP, represents a single base difference in the more than three billion bases of DNA comprising the human genome. Each person is estimated to have between three and 10 million SNPs, which account for many of the common genetic differences between individuals. SNP panels are already proving to be useful for analyzing degraded or damaged DNA, primarily because they can be definitively matched to a reference sample using much shorter segments of DNA than conventional approaches.
About Orchid Cellmark

Orchid Cellmark, the forensic strategic business unit of Orchid BioSciences, Inc., is a leader in private forensic DNA analysis. Orchid Cellmark has an international network of four forensic testing laboratories in the U.S. and U.K., making it the largest private DNA forensic testing service in the world. Orchid Cellmark provides a full range of high quality, customized forensic DNA testing services, including identification of victims of accidents and disasters, criminal casework analysis and expert testimony, convicted offender DNA databasing, no-suspect casework for government law enforcement laboratories, and DNA testing and consultative services for the defense bar as well as for the prosecution.

Orchid Cellmark, which has conducted DNA testing for many notable forensic investigations, uses a variety of genetic analysis methods for its forensic DNA studies and is a leader in developing improved technologies for genetic analysis.
About Orchid BioSciences

Orchid BioSciences' business units are leading providers of products, services and technologies for value-added genotyping. Orchid's proprietary SNP scoring technology, SNP-IT, powers the SNPstream instruments, SNPware(TM) consumables and high throughput SNP scoring services sold by Orchid Life Sciences to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, agricultural and academic customers. The versatility of SNP-IT has enabled Orchid to partner with industry leaders to make SNP-IT-enabled products available on a wide variety of instrument platforms as part of Orchid's Platform Propagation(TM) strategy. Orchid provides identity genomics testing for paternity and forensics through Orchid GeneScreen and Orchid Cellmark. Orchid Diagnostics markets products and services for HLA genotyping, disease susceptibility testing and immunogenetics, and Orchid GeneShield is developing programs designed to accelerate the adoption of personalized medicine.

More information on Orchid can be found at its web site http://www.orchid.com.

All statements in this press release that are not historical are forward- looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act as amended, including statements regarding Orchid's expectation that Orchid's pioneering work in applying SNP technologies to new uses will make possible the identification of additional victims of the World Trade Center disaster and thereby help to bring some measure of comfort to their families and friends. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, including, but not limited to, uncertainties relating to technologies, product development, manufacturing, market acceptance, cost and pricing of Orchid products and services, dependence on collaborations and partners, regulatory approvals, competition, intellectual property of others, and patent protection and litigation. These risks and other additional factors affecting Orchid's business are discussed in the "Forward-Looking Statements" section of Orchid's Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2002 and the "Overview" and "Risk Factors" sections of Orchid's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2001, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Orchid expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in Orchid's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which any such statements are based, except as may be required by law.

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