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September 24th, 2007
Nanotech Is in the Genes
When nanotech start-up Nanosphere last month announced its intention to go public, there was speculation that the move was just a prelude to a merger with one of its larger rivals in the field of molecular diagnostic testing.
The possibility of a merger just became a lot more likely. Why? Last week, the Food and Drug Administration approved a Nanosphere-made genetic test that will help patients better understand how they might metabolize the anti-blood clot medicine warfarin -- which is sold under the brand name Coumadin and is manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY).
The importance of this event can't be overstated. According to a 2006 study, FDA economists have estimated genetic testing in this situation could prevent 85,000 "serious bleeding events" and 17,000 strokes a year. Total savings for the health care system could reach $1.1 billion.
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