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Asuragen In-licenses BRAF Mutation from Johns Hopkins

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Asuragen said today that it has obtained a non-exclusive license from Johns Hopkins University to incorporate a BRAF mutation sequence into its molecular diagnostic products.

Terms of the licensing deal includes the use of the mutation, BRAF V600E, as a component in diagnostic test kits and use of it in Asuragen's CLIA laboratory for clinical research and patient testing. Financial terms were not disclosed.

BRAF, a component of the EGFR/MAPK signaling pathway, is a target of several approved drugs as well as drugs currently in clinical and pre-clinical development. In a statement, Asuragen said that the V600E mutation results in a constitutively active BRAF protein, and its presence has been show to affect prognosis and the prediction of therapeutic response in colorectal cancer.

The mutation can be detected by DNA testing of tumor biopsies and resected tumor tissues, the company added. The BRAF mutation also predicts a poorer prognosis for thyroid cancer "and is a unique and diagnostic genetic marker for this cancer," said Asuragen.

Asuragen has incorporated the BRAF mutation into its Luminex-based Signature KRAS Mutations assay and will offer BRAF mutation testing in its services laboratory for clinical trials and companion diagnostics studies, it said.

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