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Lynx Collaborates with UroGene on Cancer Gene Discovery

NEW YORK, March 21 – Rolling out the latest in an array of recent partnerships, Lynx Therapeutics said Wednesday it had entered into a collaboration with UroGene of Evry, France to use Lynx’s Megasort gene expression technology to discover gene expression patterns associated with prostate cancer, benign prostatic hypertrophy, renal carcinoma, and bladder cancer.

Under the agreement, UroGene will provide samples of normal and diseased tissues in the various conditions studied, and Lynx will analyze these tissues for gene expression.

UroGene plans to use the data gleaned from this collaboration to create new diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for prostate and other urogenital diseases. UroGene will pay Lynx for its genomic discovery services, but the parties did not reveal further financial terms of the collaboration.

"We believe the analysis and isolation of differentially expressed genes involved in the progression of prostate cancer and the other cancers involved in this collaboration could provide valuable information toward the development of potent therapies,” said Norrie Russell, CEO of Lynx. “Prostate cancer affects millions of men worldwide and is certainly a critical area for therapeutic focus." 

This new agreement follows Lynx’s Tuesday announcement that it had initiated collaboration with AstraZeneca to use its Megatype SNP detection technology to discover SNPs related to asthma. 

On March 8, Lynx and Celera said Lynx would use its Massively Parallel Signature Sequencing technology, a high resolution gene sequencing and expression system, to provide gene expression information for Celera Discovery System, and that Celera would assist Lynx in developing bioinformatics analysis tools for its gene expression data.

Lynx has also signed agreements to co-develop its technologies with five academic institutions, and has partnered with plant genomics company Phytera to use Megasort to identify genes key to the biosynthesis of plant polyphenols, compounds in plants with potential pharmaceutical value.

Lynx's basic technology, Megaclone, takes a sample of millions of DNA molecules and sorts it according to its sequence. Each different molecule binds to a microbead, with each bead able to hold up to 100,000 identical molecules. Fluorescent tags on each bead indicate how much of a particular DNA molecule is on the bead.   

Megasort uses Megaclone to extract genes from two samples and compares their expression levels in a single assay. One probe from each sample is hybridized with a population of megaclone microbeads that have copies of DNA fragments or genes from each sample. The relative fluorescence of different beads indicates differences in expression. 

Lynx also employs Megaclone in its MPSS gene sequencing technology and its Megatype SNP detection technology.  
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