Oncormed gains patent on cancer-linked gene

MARYLAND WATCH

November 12, 1997

Gaithersburg-based Oncormed Inc. said yesterday that it and two research partners have been granted U.S. patent rights on the genetic code for a key gene tied to breast and ovarian cancers.

Others sharing in the patent are Duke University in Durham, N.C., and Cancer Research Campaign Technology, a London-based subsidiary of the Cancer Research Campaign, a leading cancer research underwriter.

Publicly held Oncormed said it is seeking corporate partners to develop and market its tests based on the genetic code, as well as another breast cancer gene known as BRCA1.

About 185,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer annually in the United States. Research has found that inherited abnormalities in the gene, known as BRCA2, are associated with a greatly elevated risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers.

CRCT and Duke plan to develop or license out the rights to develop cancer drugs and other products based on the BRCA2 gene code. Oncormed said it would receive a share of revenue generated from therapies developed using the BRCA2 gene.

Pub Date: 11/12/97

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