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Pyrosequencing Unit and Mayo Clinic to Co-Develop Test for Rare Cancer

NEW YORK, Dec. 17 — Pyrosequencing's Molecular Diagnostics Business Unit and the Mayo Clinic plan to co-develop tests for an inherited form of thyroid cancer, the two groups announced on Monday.


Additional details of the partnership were not disclosed.


The Swedish firm's  molecular diagnostics division has recently struck similar partnerships with other clinical research institutions. In the past six weeks, it has announced a deal with UCSF to study multiple sclerosis and a partnership with The Cleveland Clinic to develop rapid tests for tuberculosis bacteria.


"We're looking toward molecular diagnostic testing as the future of the company,"  Vice President and Molecular Diagnostics Business Chief Jerry Williamson told GenomeWeb in November.


The cancer targeted by Pyrosequencing and Mayo, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2, has been associated with specific mutations in the RET gene. It is autosomal dominant, and its prevalence is estimated at 1 in 30,000.


Seven exons of the RET gene have been linked to MEN2 predisposition, allowing accurate screening of at-risk individuals. Other cancers, such as medullary thyroid carcinoma, pheochromacytoma, and parathyroid adenoma, are associated with other genetic variations in RET.

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