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Agencourt Announces Winner of Pan-Mass Genomic Services Grant to Help Fund Cancer Research.

Business Editors/Health/Medical Writers

BEVERLY, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 9, 2004

Dana-Farber Researcher Will Use Agencourt's Sequencing Services to

Identify Gene Responsible for Rare Tumor of the Adrenal Gland

Agencourt Bioscience Corporation, a provider of genomic services and nucleic acid purification products to the life sciences industry, has awarded Patricia Dahia, Ph.D., Instructor of Medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the $10,000 Agencourt Pan-Mass Genomic Services Grant. The grant is being presented as part of Agencourt's sponsorship of the 2003 Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, an annual bicycle race across the state that raises funds for the Jimmy Fund, a Dana-Farber Cancer Institute charity.

Dr. Dahia was selected for her proposal, "A Novel Familial Pheochromocytoma Susceptibility Locus: towards identification of the target gene." The goal of this study is to identify the gene(s) responsible for novel familial pheochromocytoma syndrome (FP). Pheochromocytoma is a rare tumor of the adrenal gland that can increase production of adrenaline and can cause life-threatening elevation in blood pressure. Identification of the FP gene will provide tools for early diagnosis of affected individuals and, as a result, guide therapeutic decisions. Agencourt's high-throughput sequencing capabilities will play a fundamental role in the identification of the susceptibility gene in this disorder.

"Agencourt is very proud to award this year's Genomic Services Grant to Dr. Dahia," said Krista Steger, Marketing Manager at Agencourt. "Although pheochromocytomas are rare, identifying the disease is critical because patients often exhibit few to no symptoms. It is our hope that Agencourt's sequencing services will greatly aid Dr. Dahia in her effort to accelerate the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of FP."

Sequencing, the determination of the order of nucleotides (basic subunits of DNA), aids researchers in identifying genes involved in various biological processes, including cancer. This type of information allows researchers to better understand the development of cancer and pinpoint potential means of therapy and cancer diagnosis.

"We are very pleased that Agencourt has chosen to support Dr. Dahia's research through its services grant," said Kornelia Polyak, M.D., Ph.D., a Dana-Farber physician-scientist and member of the grant selection committee. "This grant will help us further our understanding of cancer."

The Agencourt Pan-Mass Genomic Services Grant was awarded to a researcher at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute performing oncology-related research with the potential to significantly increase the understanding of the cellular processes leading to cancer, or provide insights into the diagnosis or treatment of cancer. A scientific committee comprised of individuals from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Agencourt Bioscience reviewed the applications.

About Agencourt Bioscience Corporation

Agencourt Bioscience Corporation is a provider of genomic services and nucleic acid purification products that help biotech and pharmaceutical companies improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their drug development pipelines. Agencourt's Discovery Solutions(TM) suite of genomic and functional genomic services includes high-throughput sequencing, SAGE(TM) sequencing, library construction and SNP discovery. The company's purification products and services are based on the proven and patented Solid Phase Reversible Immobilization (SPRI) technology, which has been adopted by several of the largest genome research facilities, resulting in more base pairs contributed to GenBank than any other nucleic acid purification technology and used to sequence over one-third of the human genome. Agencourt has been confirmed to be operating in compliance with the requirements of the Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) as a contract analytical laboratory. Several of Agencourt's founders worked at the Whitehead Institute Center for Genome Research, and have significant experience in combining the chemistries and instrumentation for high-throughput genomics. Agencourt is located in Beverly, Massachusetts and is available on the Web at
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 9, 2004
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