NEW YORK, Nov. 5 - Roche Holding is about to release a DNA-based test it developed with the Mayo Clinic that can help researchers identify anthrax faster than other products, the company said on Monday.

"The new test can identify the presence of anthrax in less than one hour instead of days," the Swiss pharmaceutical company said in a statement.

Roche will provide the product beginning next week at no charge to roughly 24 laboratories in the United States that are equipped with its LightCycler PCR technology, the company said.

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