NEW YORK, Aug. 9 – SignalGene said it had identified a gene involved in helping to protect women against breast cancer.
The finding, which could lead to lucrative treatments, also lends support to the study of isolated populations as a way of identifying disease-related genes.
SignalGene, based in Montreal, studied Quebec’s founder population for variations of a known gene and discovered that women carrying a particular form of it were less likely to develop breast cancer.
The findings from the study, conducted by Francois Rousseau, of the Research Unit in Human and Molecular Genetics at St. Fran‡ois d'Assise Hospital, have been published in Cancer Research .
"Dr. Rousseau and his collaborators have succeeded in identifying a gene that has a major impact on the risk of breast cancer in women", Michael Dennis, CEO of SignalGene, said in a statement released on Wednesday.
"This new breast cancer gene forms the basis for internal efforts by SignalGene scientists to dissect the biology underlying the genetic risk and to design novel small molecule drug candidates that have potential as next-generation breast cancer therapies,” he said.
SignalGene has exclusive rights to the findings.
SignalGene uses genomics-based technologies and in silico drug design techniques to develop small molecule drug candidates. The company is focused on the areas of breast cancer, osteoporosis, and obesity.