BioCentury's websites will be down for upgrades starting at 9 p.m. PDT on Monday, August 26. We expect the downtime to last no more than 6 hours, and we apologize for any inconvenience.

12:00 AM
 | 
Jun 01, 2009
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Asuragen: Cutting pancreatic surgeries

Patients with pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis present with similar symptoms, and are often given ultrasound tests to confirm the presence or absence of lesions. About 15% of these tests are inconclusive, and as a result patients often undergo partial or full pancreatectomies, about 10% of which are unnecessary.

Asuragen Inc. hopes its minimally invasive miRNA diagnostic will change that, reducing the number of highly invasive procedures.

While Asuragen initially will target the 15% of inconclusive cases, CEO Matt Winkler hopes to eventually expand the test to all patients presenting with symptoms, who comprise a market of more than 300,000 patients per year.

Asuragen has identified miRNAs in fine-needle aspirates from pancreatic tissue that are specific to pancreatic cancer, thus distinguishing between malignant and benign lesions.

miRNAs are endogenous 23-nucleotide single-stranded RNAs that control gene expression post-transcriptionally by binding to specific sequences in the untranslated regions of target mRNA molecules.

In the October 2008 Clinical Chemistry,...

Read the full 760 word article

User Sign in

Trial Subscription

Get a 4-week free trial subscription to BioCentury

Article Purchase

$150 USD
More Info >