DiaCarta, a four-year-old Bay Area startup eyeing point-of-care diagnostics, said this week that it has commercially launched a line of real-time PCR test kits for somatic mutations linked to cancer.

Called QClamp, the technology uses xenonucleic acid (XNA) to "clamp," or silence, amplification of non-mutant DNA in heterogeneous samples, thus exclusively amplifying mutant DNA. The tests, currently for research use only, can be run in under two hours on existing real-time PCR platforms without a DNA extraction step, on a variety of sample types, the company claims.

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