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IU Licenses Breast Cancer Biomarker to Clarient

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Indiana University has licensed a breast cancer biomarker that researchers at the school have discovered to Clarient for development as a pharmacogenomic assay, the school said today.

According to IU, patients who test positive for the biomarker — FOXA1 — are more likely to respond to anti-estrogen hormone therapies, such as tamoxifen. The university said that in two studies involving around 675 patients, those who tested positive for the presence of FOXA1 had cancer considered less aggressive.

It said that a commercial test based on the biomarker "could be a significantly less expensive alternative to existing methods to test for breast cancer subtypes that require sophisticated genomic analysis."

Clarient is an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based firm that specializes in cancer diagnostic testing. Terms of the licensing deal between the university and the firm were not disclosed.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.