IDT targets oligo market with new acquisition

By Gregory Roumeliotis

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Oligonucleotide

Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT), the largest supplier of custom
nucleic acids in the US, has bought Texan oligonucleotide (oligo)
supplier Synthegen, making further inroads into this fast-growing
specialty market.

The acquisition of Synthegen​, an organisation noted for its skill in synthesising, labelling and purifying modified oligonucleotides, strengthens IDT​'s position in the industry following its recent purchase of another oligo supplier, GenBase, and the opening of the company's first satellite production center.

The total global market for oligonucleotides is estimated to be worth around $500 (€419) million and consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan predicts it is likely to grow to $776 million by 2010, driven by demand from researchers working in basic research, drug target screening and therapeutic development.

"While IDT already has a large portion of the specialty synthesis market, the addition of the Synthegen portfolio will increase that even more,"​ IDT's COO Trey Martin told​.

"Synthegen is a competitor to IDT, although a much smaller company, and while that competitive situation played a role in the decision to acquire the company, the key reason was to expand IDT's market share in the area of specialty oligonucleotides."

Applications are expected to include agriculture, gene therapy and disease prevention.

Key modifications offered by Synthegen include several fluorescent dyes, molecular beacons, quenching fluorogenic probes, and antisense oligos with modified bases.

IDT synthesises and ships up to 25,000 custom oligos per day and has more than 60,000 customers worldwide.

In December, the acquisition of San Diego-based Gen Base gave the company an immediate, locally based, next-day oligo production capability in the heart of the California biotech industry, as well as access to GenBase's local knowledge and industry experience.

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