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Transgenomic Signs Option for Gene Solutions' Parkinson's Mutations

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Transgenomic yesterday said that it has signed a licensing option agreement with Gene Solutions for a set of validated mutations that can form the basis of a diagnostic test for Parkinson's disease.

Under the agreement, the companies will evaluate the ability of Transgenomic's mitochondrial mutation-detection technology to detect and quantify the presence of the mutations – low-level mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA, variants that have been shown to be present in Parkinson's disease patients but rarely in age-matched control individuals.

The specific mtDNA variants are present at very low levels, in the range of 1 percent of mtDNA molecules, making them very difficult to identify with current mutation-detection methods, Transgenomic said.

"Transgenomic has historically been focused on high-sensitivity mutation detection and more recently we have developed a strong mitochondrial DNA mutation service in our CLIA-certified laboratory," Transgenomic CEO Craig Tuttle said in a statement. "As a result, there is an extremely natural fit with Gene Solutions' Parkinson's disease mutations discovery and an exciting commercial opportunity to transform this observation into a powerful and necessary diagnostic product."

Transgenomic, based in Omaha, Neb., also said that it sees the potential to apply COLD-PCR technology, which it recently licensed from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, to use for mitochondrial DNA mutation enrichment and detection.

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