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UK Policing Agency Evaluating Epistem's DNA ID Technology

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – UK biotech firm Epistem announced it is collaborating with a UK policing agency to evaluate the company's molecular diagnostics device for policing identification purposes.

Under the deal, Epistem and the National Policing Improvement Agency will evaluate the Genedrive device as part of the agency's Accelerated DNA Profiling Technology program. Specifically, NPIA plans to use the device "to target the amelogenin sex gene and other single tandem repeats that create the human DNA fingerprint."

The evaluation will last into 2012 and if successful other police agencies in the UK will also evaluate the device, Epistem said.

In addition to achieving quicker DNA identification, the technology reduces costs and improves efficiency, the company said. Depending on the results of its trial, Genedrive could be adopted by NPIA as a technology for rapid crime scene DNA analysis.

Genedrive is being positioned as a handheld device, and "brings a new point-of-need approach to disease diagnosis and identification" across a variety of purposes including pharmacogenomic uses in oncology, virology, and infectious disease detection, Epistem said. However, NPIA is evaluating the technology solely for policing purposes.

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