Dharmacon has been awarded a US Patent (No 6,590,093) which covers its proprietary 2'-ACE chemistry for the production of synthetic RNA oligonucleotides.
Specifically, the patent describes a class of novel orthoester protecting groups (bis-ethylene glycol monoacetatemethyl orthoester) for chemical RNA oligonucleotide synthesis. These protecting groups are a key component in Dharmacon's 5'silyl-2'-orthoester chemical process, also known as 2'-ACE.
The orthoester group protects the RNA and minimises degradation during handling, purification, analysis and shipping, according to Dharmacon. A novel feature of this orthoester is that it enables the modified protecting group to be removed when desired using mild acidic conditions. RNA oligos produced using this orthoester group show no degradation or detectable impurities, the company claims.
Dharmacon's chief scientific officer, Stephen Scaringe, said: "2'-ACE chemistry consistently produces the highest quality RNA oligos, currently supplying more than 60 percent of the world's commercially synthesized RNA."