TORONTO, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Tm Bioscience Corporation (TSX Venture: TMC) today announced that Mayo Foundation in Rochester, Minnesota has signed a five-year Master Purchase Agreement for the Company's line of genetic tests. Under the terms of this agreement, Mayo Foundation has agreed to purchase the Tag-It(TM) Mutation Detection Kit for CFTR (cystic fibrosis gene). The Master Purchase Agreement will also enable Mayo to easily purchase additional tests from Tm as they are commercialized.
"We are very pleased that Mayo has agreed to expand their purchase agreement with Tm to include additional tests from our growing product menu, including our flagship product, the Tag-It(TM) CFTR40 test," said Greg Hines, President and CEO of Tm Bioscience. "This agreement validates our business model, which anticipates that customers initially attracted to one of our products will ultimately find our broad menu of tests a compelling value."
These tests will be used by Mayo Medical Laboratories and Mayo's Molecular Genetics Laboratory. Mayo Medical Laboratories provides lab testing and interpretive services for Mayo and for medical centres and hospitals around the world. Mayo Medical Laboratories is one of the foremost international reference laboratories and is a world-recognized leader in the clinical lab testing industry. In September 2003, Mayo Foundation signed a two-year purchase agreement for the Company's Tag-It(TM) P450-2D6 test.
About the Tm Tag-It(TM) Mutation Detection Kit for CFTR
The Tag-It(TM) Mutation Detection Kit for CFTR is designed to identify the 40 most common genetic mutations in the cystic fibrosis (CF) gene that are of interest to commercial diagnostic labs in North America and Europe, including the 25 mutation panel recommended by the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG). All genetic tests from Tm Bioscience are based on the Tm Universal Array platform and operate on the Luminex xMAP system. The Universal Array enables the rapid production of flexible, highly accurate, high-throughput, low-cost DNA-based tests.
Cystic Fibrosis is the most common fatal hereditary disease in North America. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 1 in 25 Americans carries a mutation in the CF gene. Cystic Fibrosis is a debilitating disease affecting approximately 30,000 adults and children in North America. Inheriting a mutation in the CF gene from both parents causes the disease. If both parents are carriers of the mutation, there is a 1 in 4 chance of inheriting the disease and a 1 in 2 chance of being a carrier of the disease.
The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists recommend that all couples who are pregnant or considering pregnancy should be CF carrier tested.
About Tag-It(TM) genetic tests
Tm Bioscience is commercializing a menu of tests for the rapidly growing genetic testing market. The Company has already commercialized a series of Tag-It(TM) tests for coagulation genes, launched in December 2002; the Tag-It(TM) P450-2D6 test, first in a series of tests for drug metabolism genes; and the Tag-It(TM) CFTR40 test, launched in September 2003. The Company's pre-commercial pipeline includes the Tag-It(TM) P450-2C9 and P450-2C19 drug metabolism gene tests and a test panel for common hereditary disease genes.
About Tm Bioscience - Putting the Human Genome to Work(TM)
Tm Bioscience is a DNA-based diagnostics company developing a suite of genetic tests. Tm Bioscience's product pipeline includes tests for genetic mutations related to hematology, cystic fibrosis, toxicology and other debilitating genetic disorders. Tm Bioscience is located in Toronto, Ontario. Additional information about Tm Bioscience can be found at http://www.tmbioscience.com/.
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