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Transgenomic wins grant to develop pancreatic cancer test

National Institutes of Health's National Center For Advancing Translational Sciences has awarded $100,000 small business technology transfer program (STTR) Phase I grant to Transgenomic to develop a genetic test that can detect pancreatic cancer biomarkers in blood or urine.

The award will fund a collaborative research effort between Transgenomic and University of Nebraska Medical Center at Omaha, Nebraska, US.

For detection of pancreatic cancer, Transgenomic will test the application of its proprietary ICE COLD-PCR technology to the high sensitivity detection of key mutations in pancreatic cancer in pancreas, urine and blood.

Transgenomic chief executive officer Craig Tuttle said the peer-reviewed grant award reinforces the promise of company’s ICE COLD-PCR technology in being able to deliver high-sensitivity genetic information to support the treatment of oncology patients, such as those suffering from pancreatic cancer.

"Both the financial support of the NIH and working with prominent cancer research groups, such as Dr. Hollingsworth and his team, will accelerate the development of our high-sensitivity cancer diagnostic assays," Tuttle added.

Upon receiving positive results from Phase I studies, a Phase II STTR application will be submitted to include more comprehensive studies of ICE COLD-PCR detection of DNA mutations associated with early and late stage pancreatic cancer in humans.

The company said the technology is also being evaluated in an ongoing study with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to analyze DNA isolated from circulating tumor cells.