OMAHA, Neb., April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Transgenomic, Inc. (OTC/BB: TBIO) announced today that it has launched kits for high sensitivity mutational analysis of the BRAF and PIK3CA genes. These new kits complement the company's existing kits for detecting mutations in K-RAS, expanding Transgenomic's range of its proprietary SURVEYOR Scan mutation detection kit product line. Mutations in all three genes (K-RAS, BRAF, and PIK3CA) are widely accepted to be correlated with a lack of response to the class of lung and colorectal cancer drugs that are inhibitors of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).
"An increasing number of studies of the BRAF and PIK3CA genes have indicated that key mutations in these genes can confer resistance to EGFR inhibitors such as cetuximab (Erbitux®), gefitinib (IRESSA®), erlotinib (Tarceva®) and to the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib (Gleevec®)," said Dr Katherine Richardson, VP of Research & Development at Transgenomic. "There is a need to have sensitive, reliable, quick and easy to use assays to test tumors for mutations in these genes. Unlike assays that are allele-specific, requiring labs to run a separate assay for every possible mutation, the SURVEYOR Scan kits will detect all mutations in the amplified gene targets at levels as low as 1% in a background of non-mutated DNA. The SURVEYOR Scan BRAF and PIK3CA kits empower robust, sensitive screening in research and diagnostic labs."
In the near future, Transgenomic expects to release CE IVD versions of the BRAF and PIK3CA kits for the European diagnostics market and plans to expand the SURVEYOR Scan product line with mutation detection kits for other key cancer pathway genes that can be used with WAVE HS, automated microfluidics platforms and even manually—a unique feature of Transgenomic's technology.
"Transgenomic has a stro