The RetnaGene portfolio includes RetnaGene AMD and RetnaGene LR, specialized genetic tests, which assess an individual’s risk for advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Nicox executive vice president and general manager Jerry St. Peter said that expanding access to the RetnaGene portfolio of tests is an important milestone in the progress of the Nicox Ophthalmic Diagnostics franchise in the US.

"AMD is a leading cause of blindness in the U.S. 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," Peter added.

The RetnaGene portfolio includes two laboratory-developed genetic tests performed exclusively by Sequenom Laboratories that evaluate an individual’s risk of advanced AMD. The RetnaGene AMD test assesses the risk for wet AMD (also called choroidal neovascularization, CNV) within two, five and ten years in patients aged 55 and older with early or intermediate dry AMD.

The RetnaGene LR test assesses the lifetime risk of advanced AMD (wet or dry) in patients who have not been diagnosed with AMD, aged 55 and older and/or with a family history of AMD. The RetnaGene tests evaluate 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 2014, Sequenom Laboratories granted Nicox exclusive promotion and marketing rights for its RetnaGene tests. Nicox has significantly strengthened its field force to support the expanded access of the RetnaGene portfolio, which is now available to its customers in the US.

Both RetnaGene tests offer a quick and simple method for collecting DNA specimens with an easy-to-use in-office buccal swab. The RetnaGene tests were developed, validated and are performed exclusively by Sequenom Laboratories and are available through contract with Nicox.