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Vermillion Granted US Patent Supporting PAD Biomarker

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Vermillion said this week that it has been granted a US patent that enables it to use B2-microglobulin as a biomarker for its peripheral artery disease diagnostic.

The patent's claims cover "biomarker combinations that include B2-microglobulin for the diagnosis and management of peripheral artery disease and to the measurement of the biomarkers by a variety of methods, including mass spectrometry and immunoassay," the company said in a statement.

The notice of allowance "will play an important role as we continue efforts to develop and commercialize our Vasclir test for PAD," Vermillion CEO Gail Page said in the statement.

During the company's second-quarter earnings call in August, chief science officer Eric Fung said developing Vasclir is one of Vermillion's primary R&D focuses, and noted the firm plans to begin an intended-use population study for the test by the end of the year (PM 08/13/2010).

Vasclir is the second test Quest Diagnostics accepted from the company as part of the partners' three-test strategic alliance agreement. The first was the ovarian cancer assay OVA1.

According to Fung, PAD currently affects some 12 million Americans, a number that is expected to rise as the incidence of diabetes increases.

During the August earnings call Page said that a commercial launch of Vasclir is likely still several years away.

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