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Allegro Dx Licenses IP from BU, University of Utah Foundation for Lung Cancer Test

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By Justin Petrone

Allegro Diagnostics this week announced an exclusive license agreement with Boston University and the University of Utah Foundation for intellectual property related to its molecular testing platform.

Called BronchoGen, Allegro's test is manufactured by Affymetrix, and relies on an 80-gene biomarker signature to detect and rule out the presence of lung cancer using histologically normal large-airway epithelial cells obtained at bronchoscopy from smokers suspected to have the disease. The company believes its test can be used in combination with standard bronchoscopy to achieve a diagnosis.

Allegro CEO Mike Webb said in a statement that the licensing agreement will support the "continued advancement" of BronchoGen, including a planned commercial launch in the first half of 2012. Webb was named president and CEO of the Maynard, Mass.-based firm earlier this month (BAN 6/21/2011).

Avrum Spira, director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at BU, said in a statement that BU was "pleased" to license technology that "may enable the early detection of lung cancer." Spira co-founded Allegro with fellow BU investigator Jerome Brody in 2006. Dan Rippy, the firm's previous CEO, told BioArray News last year that the company hoped to the debut test in 2010 (BAN 1/5/2010).

Financial terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed.

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