PRINCETON, N.J., Dec. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Orchid BioSciences, Inc. , a leading worldwide supplier of identity DNA testing services, today announced an agreement to distribute DNAWitness(TM), a forensic service product developed and commercialized by DNAPrint genomics. DNAWitness enables criminal investigators to develop a profile of a suspect's likely general physical attributes using DNA recovered from the crime scene. Insight into these physical attributes is generated by proprietary algorithms in DNAWitness that make it possible to determine the proportions of European, East Asian, Native American and sub-Saharan African ancestry indicated by the suspect's DNA. DNAWitness has already demonstrated its utility as a crime- fighting tool in a number of high profile cases. Financial terms of the one- year, non-exclusive distribution agreement with DNAPrint genomics were not disclosed.
"With Orchid's long-established role as a leading provider of DNA testing services to criminal justice agencies in the U.S. and Europe, DNAWitness is a logical addition to the forensic services toolbox we offer our clients," said Mark Stolorow, executive director of Orchid Cellmark. "Our commitment to scientific innovation in the application of DNA to solving crimes made us among the first to realize the potential of SNPs, or single nucleotide polymorphisms, to address unmet needs in identity testing. We are now pleased to offer our police department customers this unique SNP-based product to help them identify the likely physical characteristics of the perpetrators of the many serious unsolved crimes where the suspect's DNA does not match any of the convicted offender DNA profiles already on file in state and federal databases."
DNAWitness has been used successfully in a number of investigations, including a recent case involving the now-convicted Louisiana serial killer Derrick Todd Lee. Information on Lee's ancestry helped change the focus of the investigation of a spate of serial murders in the region, leading to his arrest and subsequent conviction. Law enforcement agencies using the DNAWitness service receive the ancestry profile generated by the suspect's DNA and a photographic database of volunteers that provides examples of people with similar ancestry profiles, as well as identifying information for the case.
Under the Cellmark brand, Orchid has been a leader in private forensic DNA analysis since 1987 and is now one of the largest private DNA forensic testing providers in the world. Orchid has an international network of forensic testing laboratories in the U.S. and U.K., where it works with the famed "Scotland Yard" and others. The company provides a full range of high quality, customized forensic DNA testing and consultative services for both prosecutors and defendants. Its services include DNA testing for criminal casework analysis and expert testimony, as well as identification of victims of accidents and disasters. Last year the company launched DNA Express(TM), a premium service to help U.S. local law enforcement agencies analyze backlogs of DNA evidence from unsolved crimes in five business days, as compared to the standard one-to-two months. More information on DNAWitness and Orchid's U.S. forensic DNA testing services can be found at http://www.orchidcellmark.com/.
About Orchid BioSciences
Orchid BioSciences is a leading provider of identity genetics services for the forensic and paternity DNA testing markets and for public health and animal DNA testing for food safety. Orchid's strong market positions in these segments leverage the company's accredited laboratories in the U.S. and U.K., its innovative genetic analysis technologies and expertise, and the world- renowned Cellmark and GeneScreen brands that have been associated with exceptional quality, reliability, innovation and customer service for nearly two decades. More information on Orchid can be found at http://www.orchid.com/.
DNAWitness is a trademark of DNAPrint genomics.
DNAExpress is a trademark of Orchid BioSciences.
All statements in this press release that are not historical are forward- looking statements within the meaning of Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding: the expected ability of DNAWitness to help criminal investigators and police departments identify physical attributes and characteristics of suspects and perpetrators. Such statements are subject to the 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, patent protection, litigation and Orchid's ability to obtain additional financing. These risks and other additional factors affecting Orchid's business are discussed under the headings "Risks Related to Our Business," "Risks Related to the Biotechnology Industry" and "Risks Associated with Our Common Stock" in Orchid's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2003, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in other filings made by Orchid with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. 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.
Orchid BioSciences, Inc.