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Tm Bioscience in-licenses drug metabolism gene patents


Toronto, ON April 1, 2003 DNA-based diagnostics company Tm Bioscience says it has acquired a non-exclusive license with UK-based company LGC for use of LGC’s CYP2D6 gene patents in TM Bioscience’s mutation detection kit for P450-2D6.

This genetic test kit will be used to identify the presence or absence of important mutations common in patients with atypical drug metabolism, which can lead to adverse drug responses, a major cause of hospitalization in North America.

It is estimated that 20% of currently available prescription drugs are metabolized by P450-2D6 derived enzymes. More than 10% of Caucasians have mutations or a total absence of the P450-2D6 gene, resulting in significantly decreased drug metabolism, which can result in adverse drug reactions. Alternatively, duplication of the gene is known to cause “ultra rapid metabolism” rendering some drugs ineffective at commonly used dosages. Hospitalization for adverse drug reactions is the third leading cause of emergency room admissions in the US.

Tm Bioscience’s mutation detection kit for P450-2D6 will test for the 13 most important variants in the P450-2D6 gene. In addition to point mutations, the kit will identify patients lacking one or both copies of the P450-2D6 gene (deletion patients) and those with multiple copies of the gene. Tm Bioscience says it has in place a development and supply agreement with an undisclosed US customer for this product, which is expected to be commercially available in mid-2003.