| Daiichi Pure Chemicals, Toshiba and Toshiba Hokuto Electronics
Agree To Develop DNA Chip Diagnostics Business
11 July, 2006
Aiming for Japan's first practical use of a DNA chip
Tokyo―Daiichi Pure Chemicals Co. Ltd, Toshiba Corporation, and Toshiba Hokuto Electronics Corporation have agreed to work together to promote in-vitro DNA-chip-based diagnostics, starting with diagnosis of the human papilloma virus (HPV). Under an agreement announced today in Tokyo, the three companies will direct Toshiba's industry-leading capabilities in DNA chips and electrochemical DNA detection and analysis, and Daiichi Pure Chemicals' state-of-the-art know-how in in- vitro diagnosis toward further advances in DNA-based diagnostic systems.
DNA-based diagnosis is an innovative approach that draws on the latest advances in DNA profiling. It takes diagnosis to the level of the particular individual, giving care providers the potential to identify the presence or absence of specific strains of a virus, and to develop treatment regimes best suited to patients' DNA profiles. Daiichi Pure Chemicals and Toshiba have collaborated in the development of a diagnostic system based on an electrochemical DNA detection chip since January, 2004 and are now ready to make the transition to real-world application. The new agreement between the companies further promotes this goal by clearly defining the role of the three partners and selecting HPV as the first target application.
Infection with human papilloma virus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer, the second most common cancer in women. Of its many strains 13 are potentially carcinogenic, but the cancer that they trigger can be treated and completely cured if detected at an early stage. Alongside progress in vaccines to treat HPV, the ability to detect the HPV strain will promote more effective treatment regimes and help to cut the incidence of cervical cancer. Daiichi Pure Chemicals, Toshiba and Toshiba Hokuto Electronics aim to develop Japan's first in-vitro diagnostic system for HPV based on an electrochemical DNA detection chip. Toshiba Hokuto Electronics has supported development and prototype production and will take responsibility for manufacturing the commercialized DNA chip and detection system.
About Toshiba's electrochemical detection
Toshiba emerged as an important contributor to the biotech science that integrates techniques drawn from medicine and genomics, through its development of an electrochemical DNA chip that is able to analyze and type DNA sequences that can be used to identify genes.
The main direction in DNA chip development previously focused on fluorescence detection technology that used a laser to irradiate a sample and then measures the resulting fluorescence. Since the equipment is large and not easily portable, and the chip and screening process are both expensive, fluorescence detection is impractical for real-world application outside the research lab.
The in-vitro electrochemical detection methodology being developed by Toshiba allows for detection of DNA without the use of fluorescent (or other) labels and offers much easier operation and shorter analysis time than currently available methodologies. The equipment required is also much more compact and integrate with IT technologies, and more cost efficient.
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