SPOKANE, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Signature Genomics, which performs diagnostic genetic testing of chromosome abnormalities in individuals with unexplained physical and neurological deficits such as mental retardation and autism, announced it received the 8th spot on Seattle Business magazine’s Top 25 Innovators and Entrepreneurs of 2009 list. Signature was 2nd among biosciences companies on the list.
“We are honored to be recognized for our innovative approach to the genetic testing of individuals with unexplained mental retardation and birth defects, some of whom have been searching for years for a diagnosis,” said Dr. Lisa G. Shaffer, Ph.D., President and CEO of Signature. “We strive to maintain our reputation as a forward-thinking company, but we never lose focus on our primary concern—providing answers for our patients and their families.”
In 2003, Dr. Shaffer and her colleague Dr. Bassem A. Bejjani, M.D., left academia and moved to Spokane to co-found Signature Genomics, the first laboratory in the world to take advantage of the mapping of the human genome to provide microarray-based diagnostic testing with its proprietary SignatureChip® microarray. Opening its doors with three employees, Signature began offering testing in March of 2004, and by September of that year was making a profit. In 2007, Ampersand Ventures, a private equity firm focusing on investments in the health care and industrial technology sectors, and in 2008 jVen Capital, a life sciences investment company with a focus in the areas of biotechnology, diagnostics, and medical devices, acquired stakes in Signature. The company posted $18.2 million in revenue in 2008, up from $13.5 million in 2007. Signature now has over 120 employees and has made over 8,000 diagnoses from the more than 40,000 patients tested since its inception. Signature’s microarrays are now offered for both pre- and postnatal identification of DNA alterations associated with genetic disease.
Shaffer and Bejjani say Signature Genomic Laboratories is expected to grow by 30 percent by the end of this year as they prepare to launch a new microarray test to be performed on adult oncology patients in 2010.
Dr. Shaffer recently received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2009 Award in the Life Sciences category in the Pacific Northwest, and Signature has been honored the last two years by Inc.magazine as one of the country’s fastest-growing private companies.
About Signature Genomic Laboratories
Signature Genomic Laboratories, founded in 2003, was the first laboratory to provide microarray-based cytogenetic diagnostics with its proprietary SignatureChip® and is the leader in providing microarray-based chromosome analysis. Signature’s worldwide client base includes clinical geneticists, neurologists, pediatricians, neonatologists, obstetricians, and the research community. Signature is CAP accredited, CLIA certified, and has clinical licenses from New York, California, Rhode Island and Florida. Additional information about Signature Genomic Laboratories is available at www.signaturegenomics.com.