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Unveiled: DNA test kit for dogs

MARYLAND, USA: A genetics testing corporation MMI Genomics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MetaMorphix, Inc., this week announced the launch of the first commercial, DNA-based, diagnostic test which, it claims, can genetically determine the breed composition of dogs. Canine Heritage™ was created by MMI Genomics, a wholly owned subsidiary of MetaMorphix, Inc.

It is a diagnostic test that uses MetaMorphix’s state-of-the-art, SNP-based, DNA technology to certify up to 38 major breeds. The Canine Heritage™ test is easy to administer and requires only a cheek swab sample to be mailed to the company for analysis. Results are returned to owners in 4-6 weeks.

The vast majority of dog owners have no records or information about their pet’s family history. The Canine Heritage™ test can fill that gap. The manufacturers claim that owners of crossbreeds, as well as dogs without breed registration papers, can take advantage of this exclusive technology to directly determine pedigree. The identification of parentage is no longer a prerequisite.

MMI Genomics will introduce the Canine Heritage™ test kit at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida, from February 22nd to February 24th. A list of the 38 identifiable breeds as well as more information on the new product will be available at the company’s stand and also on the company’s website.

"This is very exciting news for dog lovers," said Dr. Ed Quattlebaum, Co-Chairman and CEO of MetaMorphix, Inc. "The first question always asked of mixed-breed dog owners is, ‘What kind of dog is that?’ Now, owners need not guess and can say with certainty, ‘The Canine Heritage™ test showed that my dog is a mix of Labrador Retriever, English Setter and Border Collie’.

In addition to better understanding your pet’s behaviour, your dog’s breed analysis can enable you to work more closely with your veterinarian to develop a lifetime health and wellness program."

In the US alone, rescue organizations and animal shelters account for roughly half of the 6 million dogs taken home per year and only 25% of these pets are purebred.

MMI Genomics has long been a leader in animal DNA identity and parentage verification. For over a decade it has provided DNA-based parent verification for major dog registries such as the American Kennel Club (AKC), the United Kennel Club (UKC), the Professional Kennel Club (PKC) and a number of other canine registries and breed clubs.

With the launch of Canine Heritage™, the company has expanded its DNA product line to include breed identification — it is the first and only company to offer such a service. MMI Genomics continues to use its state-of-the-art genomic platform to develop companion animal products, including additional breeds for the Canine Heritage™ test.

* Website: www.metamorphixinc.com