St. Joseph's Among First in U.S. to Use New Technology in Genetic Testing for Alzheimer's Disease

Jan 06, 2004, 00:00 ET from St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center

    PHOENIX, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers at St. Joseph's Hospital and
 Medical Center are among the first in the country to use a new molecular
 diagnostic tool to help develop genetic tests for Alzheimer's disease.  St.
 Joseph's DNA Diagnostic Laboratories validated the test in collaboration with
 Nanogen, Inc. (Nasdaq:   NGEN), a company that develops and commercializes
 molecular diagnostic products for the gene-based testing market.
     Using the company's NanoChip(C) Molecular Biology Workstation and analyte
 specific reagents, researchers can detect the specific genetic form, or
 allele, of the ApoE gene, which is associated with an increased risk for
 developing Alzheimer's disease.  Currently, this mutation is detected with
 more conventional technology that is not widely available.  Nanogen licensed
 the detection of ApoE alleles for use with the NanoChip device in April 2003.
     "The relationship between St. Joseph's and Nanogen allows us to offer
 predisposition testing for Alzheimer's disease to patients throughout Arizona
 in a timely, accurate and cost-effective manner.  Currently, patients can wait
 up to six weeks for results," says Dr. John Stone, Laboratory Director.  "We
 anticipate that this collaboration will soon lead to the development of
 similar tests."
     The NanoChip(R) Molecular Biology Workstation is an automated
 multi-purpose instrument that uses a tiny silicon chip to test for genetic
 mutations.  The system provides laboratories with a flexible platform to
 develop and validate tests to detect mutations associated with the diagnoses,
 prediction, screening, treatment and monitoring of diseases.
     St. Joseph's DNA Diagnostic Laboratories offer a full service genetics
 program, including testing in the areas of cytogenetics and molecular
 genetics.  For information on additional testing, call +1-602-406-3104.

SOURCE St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center