Cerner invests in Massachusetts genetics testing company

12/05/2013 7:04 PM

12/05/2013 7:04 PM

Cerner Corp. has invested in a Massachusetts genetics diagnostic testing laboratory that focuses on pediatric medicine.

The North Kansas City health care information software company said Thursday that it has become a minority shareholder in Claritas Genomics, based in Cambridge.

The amount of the investment by Cerner Capital, a subsidiary, was not disclosed. But as part of the transaction, Cerner Capital managing director Clay Patterson has joined Claritas’ board of directors.

Claritas, which has 45 employees, served as the clinical molecular testing laboratory of Boston Children’s Hospital until it was spun off as an independent operation in February. While the hospital is the majority owner of Claritas, the laboratory’s other key investors and partners are Life Technologies Corp. and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Claritas provides a range of molecular testing services aimed at taking much of the guesswork out of genetic diagnostics.

“One of Claritas’ goals is to enable providers at any pediatric center or practice to use genomics in routine medical care,” Patrice Milos, the chief executive of Claritas, said in a statement.

Cerner and Claritas will collaborate on efforts to advance personalized medicine, Cerner said in the announcement. Claritas will use Cerner’s Millennium Helix diagnostic testing package and will work with Cerner’s other laboratory network partners.

Dick Flanigan, Cerner’s senior vice president, said Claritas’ “focus on pediatrics is noteworthy, as that’s when integrating genomics into clinical practice could be particularly impactful.”

Cerner’s information technology products are used by about 10,000 health care facilities around the world, including more than 2,700 hospitals.

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