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Gene screen patent leads to 'Deal of Distinction'
Date:10/29/2007

UChicagoTech, the University of Chicago's Office of Technology and Intellectual Property, has received a 2007 Deal of Distinction Award from the Licensing Executives Society of U.S.A. and Canada.

The award stems from an agreement signed in late 2005 between the University of Chicago and the Mayo Clinic. The deal licensed the UGT1A1 diagnostic screen that predicts a patient's risk of side effects from a standard first-line treatment for advanced cancers of the colon and rectum. Mark J. Ratain, M.D., the Leon O. Jacobson Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago, and colleagues developed the UGT1A1 test.

UChicagoTech was the sole honoree in the industry-university-government transactions category. The society also presented Deal of Distinction Awards in four other categories. The awards were announced in connection with the LES annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, earlier this month.

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, with more than 145,000 new cases each year. It accounts for nearly 60,000 deaths annually in this country alone. Many colorectal cancer patients receive a first-line treatment of irinotecan hydrochloride (Camptosar(r)). Still in its early phases of implementation, more than 5,000 patients are expected to receive the UGT1A1 test this year.

The UGT1A1 test lets doctors know in advance which patients will have severe side effects from the drug by revealing which patients have versions of a gene that helps metabolize the drug. Patients who are at risk receive reduced doses of irinotecan hydrochloride or are treated with other chemotherapy drugs.

"This is a living example of the new genetic personalized medicine at work," said Alan Thomas, Director of UChicagoTech.

Until the December 2005 deal between the University and Mayo Clinic, the UGT1A1 test had only been available to patients enrolled in studies at the University o
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Contact: Steve Koppes
skoppes@uchicago.edu
773-702-8366
University of Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

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