Oncor Inc. has reached an exclusive licensing agreement withthe University of Colorado Health Sciences Center for a set ofDNA probes to diagnose acute myelogenous leukemia, thecompany said Wednesday.

The Gaithersburg, Md., company (NASDAQ:ONCR) will add thenew probes to its panel being developed for more rapid andinexpensive diagnoses of various leukemias.

Tests for chromosome rearrangement using DNA probes onmicroscope slides could be conducted in a day rather than inthe two weeks currently required, and for less money, saidStephen Turner, chairman and chief executive officer.

The idea is to have a complete panel of probes to look forresidual cancer, Turner told BioWorld, because finding hidden,remaining disease is the "main problem" in leukemiatreatment.

Oncor already has licensing agreements for probes to detectchronic myelogenous and acute lymphoblastic leukemias. Thenew probes detect a translocation of chromosomes 8 and 21 inwhite blood cells, a gene rearrangement that causes acutemyelogenous leukemia.

As with its other agreements, Oncor will manufacture andmarket the probes and will pay royalties on sales. Sales forresearch use will start while clinical testing is conducted,Turner said. Oncor expects to file for Food and DrugAdministration approval of the new probes by 1992.

-- Roberta Friedman, Ph.D. Special to BioWorld

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