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Transgenomic Expands License from Dana Farber to Include Ice COLD-PCR

By a GenomeWeb Staff Reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Transgenomic announced today it has expanded a license with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to include Ice COLD-PCR technology for the enhanced detection of mutant DNA.

Transgenomic had previously licensed the rights to COLD-PCR from the cancer institute for Sanger sequencing and mitochondrial DNA analysis. With the expanded license, Transgenomic will have access to Ice COLD-PCR, a technology that increases the sensitivity of mutation detection. The license extension also includes the analysis of COLD-PCR products by pyrosequencing.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

COLD-PCR selectively amplifies mutant PCR "by recognizing that mutant DNA strands denature at lower temperatures in a PCR reaction than normal DNA," Transgenomic said. The method amplifies mutated DNA with minimal amplification of normal DNA, and the resulting PCR-amplified fragment can then be analyzed by Sanger sequencing, pyrosequencing, real-time PCR, or next-generation sequencing.

COLD-PCR allows clinicians to use smaller amounts of sample for genetic analysis as well as less-intrusive sample collection methods, the Omaha, Neb.-based firm said, adding that Ice COLD-PCR further enhances sensitivity of mutation detection.

In a statement, Craig Tuttle, CEO of Transgenomic, said the firm has developed gene mutation assays using COLD-PCR and Ice COLD-PCR "that allow post-enrichment Sanger sequencing of somatic mutations which had initial concentrations in the sample of lower than .05 percent that of the wild type allele," compared to a typical detection level of 10 percent using Sanger sequencing alone.

Transgenomic is applying its enhanced technology to study mutant DNA levels in plasma and serum and circulation tumor cells corresponding to the mutation found in tumors, he said.

"Ice COLD-PCR is an important addition to our range of technologies as it is a key element in the development of improved levels of detection of mutations," Tuttle said. "By expanding our license to include additional sequencing methods, we are broadening the market opportunity for COLD-PCR under our exclusive license with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute."