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Transgenomic Licenses Exclusive Rights to Cold PCR

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Transgenomic has licensed exclusive rights to Cold-PCR technology from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, the firm said Thursday.

The Omaha, Neb.-based pharmacogenomics firm said that it has exclusive rights to commercialize the technology for combined use with Sanger sequencing as well as for mitochondrial DNA analysis. Financial and further terms of the license were not disclosed.

Cold-PCR is a variation on standard PCR and "enriches mutations in DNA samples and is a much more sensitive technique for finding low level mutations in tissue and body fluids that are involved with a variety of diseases," said Transgenomic. The firm believes the technology will be able to detect cancer-related mutations that are present at a low level compared to normal DNA.

"We have long wanted a technology that would permit us to screen patients earlier in their development of cancer and we hope that Cold-PCR provides us the sensitivity and analytical accuracy to achieve this goal," Transgenomic CEO Craig Tuttle said in a statement.

Transgenomic had licensed an option on the Cold-PCR technology earlier this year. The firm said it used that option period to test the feasibility of the technology and developed laboratory improvements for its use.

"We demonstrated reproducible 30 - 50 fold enrichment of mutant cancer gene DNA, without needing any a-priori information on the position of the mutation," said Eric Kaldjian, CSO of Transgenomic.

"Combining Cold-PCR with Transgenomic's WAVE DHPLC and Surveyor Nuclease products may have the potential to detect one mutant copy of DNA out of as many as a thousand normal copies and the sensitivity is likely to keep improving," Kaldjian added. "This will be valuable in cancer-related mutation detection of free DNA in blood and body fluids and in producing a mutation profile of primary tumors to predict resistance to targeted therapies."