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Asuragen, RTI Collaborate on Fragile X Syndrome Testing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – RTI and Asuragen today announced a collaboration to perform high-throughput screening testing for fragile X syndrome in newborns.

Using Asuragen's technology, screening will be conducted in North Carolina's Early Check study, a free screening study to identify children with rare health conditions before symptoms appear and assess the value of benefits of early intervention. With a mother's consent, Early Check reuses the same blood sample taken for regular newborn screening to test for additional conditions, such as fragile X syndrome.

The partners said that Austin, Texas-based Asuragen's technology can be used to potentially perform newborn testing for fragile X syndrome with large numbers of children. Screening for the condition, they added, has been limited by the lack of a high-throughput, accurate method that works for boys and girls.

"By using this testing method in Early Check, we will be able to better understand the prevalence of the fragile X gene disorder," Don Bailey, a distinguished fellow at RTI and principal investigator for Early Check, said in a statement. "Our goal is to enable studies of the earliest development issues and potential interventions by identifying fragile X syndrome in infants shortly after birth."

RTI is a nonprofit headquartered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.