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Myriad Licenses Rights to Pancreatic Cancer Gene Patents

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Myriad Genetics announced after the close of the market Thursday that it has licensed exclusive rights from Johns Hopkins University to patents covering a gene related to pancreatic cancer.

The Salt Lake City-based molecular diagnostics firm said the worldwide, exclusive license covers rights to patents covering mutations in the PALB2 gene, which have been found to increase an individual's risk for developing pancreatic cancer. The company hopes to launch a new predictive test next year containing markers for hereditary pancreatic cancer.

Earlier this year, researchers from the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins University published a paper in the journal Science, in which they presented the PALB2 gene as a susceptibility gene for familial pancreatic cancer. Myriad noted that in addition to this gene, the BRCA2 and p16 genes also have been discovered as playing a role in familial pancreatic cancer. The firm holds exclusive rights under 10 issued US patents to those other two genes.

According to Myriad, an individual that has a mutation in one or more of those three genes, their risk of developing pancreatic cancer by age 70 may be as high as 10 to 20 times greater than that of the general population.

Terms of the license were not disclosed.

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