French firm Nicox's US subsidiary has launched expanded access to Sequenom Laboratories' RetnaGene portfolio of laboratory-developed genetic tests in the US.
The RetnaGene portfolio includes RetnaGene AMD and RetnaGene LR, specialised genetic tests, which evaluate an individual's risk for advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Nicox executive vice-president and general manager Jerry Peter said: "AMD is a leading cause of blindness in the US and is estimated to affect over 15 million Americans, including 10% to 15% suffering from an advanced form of the disease.
"The RetnaGene tests allow for improved patient management, by examining the most relevant genetic markers for a more accurate prediction of advanced AMD risk.
"Both the RetnaGene tests and our groundbreaking test for the early detection of Sjogren's syndrome, Sjo, will be supported by our rapidly expanding specialist sales force."
AMD is the most common cause of visual impairment and the leading cause of blindness in the elderly population worldwide.
Sequenom's RetnaGene portfolio includes two laboratory-developed genetic tests performed exclusively by the company that evaluate an individual's risk of advanced AMD.
The RetnaGene AMD test assesses the risk for wet AMD within two, five and ten years in patients aged 55 and older with early or intermediate dry AMD. It evaluates the lifetime risk of advanced AMD (wet or dry) in patients who have not been diagnosed with AMD, aged 55 and older or with a family history of AMD.
The company said that RetnaGene tests assess genotype and other known risk factors, giving a more complete assessment of a patient's individual risk for developing advanced AMD than with current phenotype-based standards.
In January, Sequenom granted Nicox exclusive promotion and marketing rights for its RetnaGene tests.