DNA fraud-buster aimed at pharma sector

Related tags Dna Polymerase chain reaction

Applied DNA Sciences, a specialist in the use of DNA as a security
and anti-counterfeiting technology, is to work with the US
Department of Energy to develop an improved process for identifying
its marker technology that should bring down implementation costs.

The collaboration aims to develop a new generation of DNA analysis tool - based on the widely used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology that detects and amplifies DNA. Applied DNA Sciences uses botanical DNA in inks and labels as an overt or covert marker that can be applied to items ranging from drug packaging to secure official documents, currency and textiles, providing some protection from counterfeiting and diversion. Authentication of the product is carried out by forensic DNA analysis.

Applied DNA Sciences' chief technology officer, Paul Reep, said that the agreement will help create industry standards that are competitively priced. The aim is to develop a method of detection and analysis that is faster and cheaper than alternatives.

The marker technology is already being used in the textiles industry, and the Chinese government recently placed an order for 500 million DNA/hologram labels for use on DVDs. But the pharmaceutical industry, which produces billions of packages each year, is a key focus for Applied DNA Sciences and Holomex.

In fact, Applied DNA Sciences signed a collaboration with security hologram specialist Holomex last November, which is already a major supplier of anti-counterfeiting systems to the pharmaceutical and packaging and other industries.

"Losses to the pharmaceutical industry, incurred as a result of product counterfeiting and adulteration, are reported to exceed $15 billion (€11.3bn) annually,"​ according to Peter Brocklesby, president of Applied DNA Sciences, citing figures from Reconnaissance International.

Despite the huge focus on radiofrequency identification, he believes that there is still a requirement for an on-pack system, such as a DNA/hologram marker, that can be combined with RFID antenna/label technology to provide secure packaging which also has inventory control and supply chain protection features.

The security hologram industry was valued at $1.2 billion in sales in 2003.

Related topics Drug Delivery Processing equipment

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