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Islet Sciences Licenses Beta Cell Death Technology from Winthrop University Hospital

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Diabetes biotechnology firm Islet Sciences today announced it has licensed technology from Winthrop University Hospital for identifying Beta cell death.

The PCR-based technology was developed by Eitan Akirav, a research scientist at WUH, and colleagues to identify Beta cell death before the onset of hyperglycemia and soon after the onset of type 1 diabetes. John Steel, chairman and CEO of Islet, said that his firm will commercialize the technology.

The method uses a stepwise detection and analysis of Beta cell and non-Beta cell-derived insulin DNA with the "key principle" behind the method being "the existence of unique DNA methylation patterns in the Beta cells that are absent from other cells in the body," New York-based Islet said in a statement.

The company added that there is a longstanding need for technology that can accurately assess Beta cell death in order to improve disease diagnosis, allow for disease staging, and provide improved evaluation of the efficacy of clinical treatment.

"The method provides a noninvasive approach for detecting Beta cell death in vivo that may be used to track the progression of diabetes and guide its treatment," Akirav said in a statement.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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