CHICAGO, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Medifacts Systems, Inc. announces that it has granted an exclusive license for a genetic test patent to Mayo Clinic. The patented test detects Alpha Thalassemia mutations and their use as predictors of blood-related disorders. The patent is the invention of Lemuel J. Bowie Ph.D., an African American from Vicksburg, Mississippi who was educated at Xavier University in New Orleans, Howard University, and Johns Hopkins. Through this licensing agreement, Mayo Clinic's reference laboratory, Mayo Medical Laboratories will make the test available to patients worldwide.
Thalassemia is an inherited blood disease particularly prevalent among Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Pacific Islanders, Asian, and African peoples. The genetic defect that causes a reduced rate of synthesis for hemoglobin is believed to provide some protection against malaria in malaria-prone areas. However, it can lead to anemia, which is the characteristic presenting symptom, and other health complications involving the spleen, gall stones, and heart failure. There is no cure for thalassemia and the best treatment available today consists of frequent blood transfusions (every two to three weeks) with iron chelation therapy administered subcutaneously.
The severity of alpha thalassemia is correlated with the number of
affected globin loci:
-- If one of the four loci is affected, there is minimal effect.
-- If two of the four loci are affected, the condition is called alpha
thalassemia trait with mild microcytic hypochromic anemia.
-- If three loci are affected, the condition is called Hemoglobin H
disease. Two unstable hemoglobins are present in the blood and both
have a higher affinity for oxygen than normal hemoglobin, resulting in
poor oxygen delivery to tissues. The disease may first be noticed in
childhood or in early adult life, when microcytic hypochromic anemia
|SOURCE Medifacts Systems, Inc.|
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