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Lung cancer patients who have acquired gene mutations associated with resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as Iressa or Tarceva can be identified far more accurately using a new mutation test kit from DxS.

Designed to detect the T790M mutation in exon 20 of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene, the new assay will allow drug developers to investigate its reported association with acquired resistance and can act as a useful tool to predict drug response. Its launch comes at a time when drug developers are moving away from cytotoxic therapies to more targeted, gene-based approaches to cancer treatment.

By harnessing the sensitivity of DxS's ARMSTM allele-specific PCR and its ScorpionsTM quantitative real-time signalling system, the new assay can detect mutant copies even if they represent as little as 1% of the sample. This is a marked improvement in sensitivity over traditional sequencing-based techniques that lack discrimination when there are high levels of background DNA. The new assay performs equally well using DNA extracted from various samples, such as paraffin embedded tumours and blood.

Intended as a research tool, the T790M quantitative mutation assay detects the presence of a mutant thymidine base in a background of normal cytosine bases at position 2369 of the EGFR gene. It is presented as two real-time PCR assays: one detects the mutant base the other acts as a control by quantifying the EGFR gene. Results are semi-quantitative and provide an approximate determination of the percentage of mutant T790M in the sample.

About DxS

DxS is a personalised medicine company providing genetic analysis products, technologies and services to enable the delivery of safe and effective medicines. The speed and sensitivity of DxS' real-time PCR technology, Scorpions(tm), underpins its products and services. This class-leading technology is also available for licence to diagnostic companies and for research, applied and other applications. DxS has developed a range of tumour analysis products that detect mutations in EGFR, RAS, RAF and other genes associated with cancer drug responses.

DxS is ISO9001:2000 certified for the provision of genetic and related analytical and development services and technology licensing for life sciences. DxS is an established company operating in Manchester's technology quarter within the UK.

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Publication:Worldwide Biotech
Date:Sep 1, 2006

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