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NIH Aims to Out-License Endometrial Cancer Detection Assay

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The National Institutes of Health is looking to out license a human microRNA in situ hybridization assay capable of detecting, quantifying, and identifying endometrial cancer biomarkers, including miR-31, according to the agency's Office of Technology Transfer.

"Currently available miRNA markers can be detected by microarray, Northern blot, RT-PCR, and sequencing analysis," the OTT said. "However, these assays cannot specify tissue and cell types that contain miRNAs without laser microdissection … [which] has severe limitations as it requires expensive equipment and its miRNA yields are too low to be detected by the aforementioned techniques."

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute have developed and optimized an ISH assay to detect miRNAs in fresh cell lines, and it can be adapted to work with frozen cells and tissue samples.

"Utilizing the assay, the investigators have found that [miR-31] is decreased in cancerous endometrial cells in comparison to controls," OTT noted.

This miRNA has been linked to cancer development and tumor metastasis.

Additional details about the licensing opportunity can be found here.

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