MELBOURNE, Australia -- Genetic Technologies Ltd. has formed a strategic alliance with MetaMorphix Inc., a world leader in the development of new genetic markers based in Beltsville, Md.

In 2004, MMI took a license to the GTG non-coding DNA patents, and since then the two companies have maintained close contact. GTG and MMI have both pursued the development of new technologies with applications in human health and diagnostics and also in animal genetics and genomics.

GTG and MMI recently identified several overlapping interests and will now explore the joint commercialization of these new opportunities, using the combined power of the unique intellectual property held by each company.

Immediate benefits for GTG include the early introduction into Australia and New Zealand of MMI's new genetic tests for livestock and companion animals, including polling in cattle and the ability to genetically confirm a dog's breed.

Horn-polling markers allow cattle breeders to identify and breed-out cattle born with horns, a major cause of injury to other cattle, especially during transportation. By performing a simple genetic test on breeding stock, cattle breeders will soon be able to overcome this problem.

MMI has also developed specific DNA-based tests that can distinguish between 35 different purebred dog types. This will permit the breed of a dog to be confirmed genetically, if suspected of falling into a breed regulated by the authorities.

GTG sees significant opportunity in launching programs across Australia and New Zealand that will enable a dog's breed to be genetically confirmed at the time of registration. This list will soon be expanded to over 90 breeds of dogs. Indeed, through this research it may soon be possible to offer a genetic test which identifies a dog's temperament.

Genetic Technologies was an early pioneer in recognizing important new applications for "non-coding" DNA. The company has since been granted patents in 24 countries around the world, securing intellectual property rights for particular uses of non-coding DNA in genetic analysis and gene mapping across all genes in all multicellular species.

Founded in 1994 and based in Beltsville, Md., MetaMorphix Inc., a privately held life sciences company, is dedicated to discovering and commercializing technologies to naturally improve the global food supply, as well as animal and human health.

SOURCE: Genetic Technologies Limited via Business Wire.