Genomic Vision, a French company concerned with developing diagnostic tests for the early detection of cancers and hereditary diseases, has announced that they have signed an exclusive distribution deal with AmCare Genomics Laboratory. The agreement grants AmCare exclusive rights to market Genomic Vision’s Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD) diagnostic assay in China.

“We are thrilled to have acquired Genomic Vision’s technology and signed an exclusive distribution agreement for the FSHD diagnostic assay in China,” said Victor Wei Zhang, PhD, CEO of AmCare. “Thanks to our large network and connections within the neurology and FSHD communities in China, we are confident in raising significant awareness among physicians and patients on the most powerful diagnostic test for FSHD.”

FSHD is currently the third most prevalent muscular hereditary myopathy in the world, affecting somewhere between 1 in 10,000 and 1 in 20,000 people. Currently, 870,000 people are living with a FSHD diagnosis, but the number of patients is likely to higher due to undiagnosed cases and people who are asymptomatic. The condition, which manifests as muscle weakness and atrophy in the face, shoulder blades, and upper arms, can vary in severity quite significantly, from highly acute cases in infants to asymptomatic, unaffected adults.

It’s estimated that around 70% of FSHD cases are as a result of hereditary genes, while the remaining 30% are caused by de novo mutations in infants. Currently, there is no treatment to resolve the underlying genetic issue, which causes a toxic protein to be produced within muscle cells, but early detection means that patients can start physical therapies which may prevent or delay muscle atrophy. In order to do this, patients need to have access to diagnostic assays like the ones Genomic Vision are producing.

This announcement follows a similar attempt by Genomic Vision to expand their reach in Asia in June 2017.

“Following our distribution deal with APG Bio Ltd last June, this marketing agreement with AmCare represents a second major milestone in our global strategy to enter new markets in Asia,” said David Del Bourgo, Director of Sales and Marketing at Genomic Vision. “In China, it is estimated that 70,000 to 140,000 people are affected with FSHD. Moreover, the field of genomics and genetic testing is extremely developed, notably in large cities. We are convinced that our robust diagnostic technology will provide great benefits to families and patients. We look forward to deploying our FSHD solution in China and to strengthening our presence in the country through this valuable partnership.”