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