NEW YORK, March 10 (GenomeWeb News) - Shares in Sequenom were trading up 19.35 percent, or $.24, at $1.48 in unusually heavy volume late this afternoon after the company said its flagship MassArray genotyping platform helped a team of researchers uncover a gene mutation linked to age-related macular degeneration.
The researchers, from Boston University School of Medicine, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and Sequenom said the variation "is the strongest known risk factor associated" for the disease.
The study, which appears in the March 10 online issue of Science, found that the gene is believed to be responsible for roughly half of all cases of AMD, Sequenom said.
To arrive at their results, the researchers tested AMD-associated SNPs in a region of 14 million base pairs on chromosome 1q25-31, on which a gene for AMD had been previously located in families with multiple persons affected with AMD.
Using two independent case-control populations, the researchers found that "possession of at least one copy of histidine at position 402 of complement factor H (CFH) increased the risk of AMD almost three-fold," Sequenom reported in a statement.