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Vermillion Announces Issuance of U.S. Patent Covering the Discovery of Novel Forms of Brain Natriuretic Peptide

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Vermillion, Inc. has announced that the U.S. Patent Office (USPTO) has issued the Company Patent No. 7,341,838 for the discovery of novel forms of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), which could potentially improve upon the current standard of care in diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease, Vermilliom says.

According to Company, the discovery could ultimately lead to the development of a next-generation assay that might provide physicians with additional, valuable information to stratify patients at risk for cardiovascular disease, including stroke and congestive heart failure.

"The issuance of this patent validates the strength of our approach in the development of innovative molecular diagnostics," said Eric T. Fung, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Vermillion. "We hypothesize that measuring these novel forms of BNP will have prognostic value. We look forward to continuing to build our solid pipeline of potential biomarkers to aid in the diagnosis of serious, debilitating conditions."

BNP is secreted by the heart and indicates how well the muscle is working. Normally, only a low amount of BNP is found in the blood. However, if the heart has to work harder than usual over an extended period of time the heart releases more BNP. Elevated levels of BNP can signify congestive heart failure.

The patent also covers the measurement of these new modifications of BNP by a variety of methods, including SELDI (surface enhanced laser desorption/ionization) mass spectrometry -- which was used to discover these specific forms -- and other immunoassay approaches.