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Roche Announces Validation of Mouse Genotyping Tool

NEW YORK, Nov 15 – Roche Bioscience said Wednesday it had validated a mouse genotyping tool that could help to speed the development of new genomics-based diagnostic tools and treatments.

The new method, developed by Gary Peltz, head of genetics in Roche’s inflammatory diseases unit, and Russell Higuchi, a research leader in human genetics at Roche Molecular Systems, identifies SNPs faster and cheaper than other methods, the company said.

“The new analytical procedure, which has resulted in the identification of more than 300 murine SNP genotyping assays in less than six months, is 30 to 50 times more efficient than current assay methods and could become the industry standard for murine genotyping within the next several years,” Roche said in a statement.

Roche, which received a $1.2 million, three-year grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute to develop the method, did not offer specifics about how the technique works.The company will, however, make the data from the project available through a public database on the Internet.

Roche said that the new technique’s advantages include giving researchers the ability to genotype pooled DNA samples.

Roche is planning to use the new technique to study DNA samples from individuals with certain conditions, including osteoporosis, to identify genetic factors associated with these diseases.

The company, which has recently lost a number of top people from its molecular systems division and has been criticized for its failure to bring new drugs to market, did not say whether it was planning to commercialize the tool.

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