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Transgenomic Obtains Exclusive License to Mitochondrial DNA Damage Detection Technology
Date:12/4/2008

OMAHA, Neb., Dec. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Transgenomic (OTC Bulletin Board: TBIO) today announced that the Clayton Foundation for Research of Houston, Texas through its technology transfer entity, the Research Development Foundation, has granted the Company an exclusive license to patents covering a method for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage detection. The patents form the basis for the development of diagnostic tests in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, degenerative diseases of aging, cancer, and other diseases, by measuring increased oxidative damage within mitochondria.

Mitochondria are organelles that produce the energy required for cells to function normally. As the "power plants" of the cell, they are highly sensitive to oxidative damage, which reduces energy production. Epidemiologic and biologic studies suggest that oxidative stress is a risk factor for cardiovascular death, but the absence of an accepted measure has limited the ability to determine whether reducing oxidative stress will reduce cardiovascular risk. The licensed technology utilizes a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) measurement of mtDNA damage, and is a sensitive and specific indicator of oxidative stress.

The method was invented by researchers at the University of Texas in the laboratory of Dr. Ben Van Houten. In collaboration with Dr. Marschall Runge, they demonstrated that mtDNA damage in blood cells occurs early in atherosclerosis, that aortic mtDNA damage increases with age, and that genetic background and diet both can influence the level of damage. Preliminary studies suggest that the level of mtDNA damage also correlates with a near-term risk of major adverse cardiovascular events. Hence, measurement of mtDNA damage may be useful for predicting coronary atherosclerotic heart disease.

Dr. Van Houten, now at the Hillman Cancer Center at the University of Pittsburgh, has publis
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SOURCE Transgenomic
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