Genospectra deal strengthens Sigma assay position

By Wai Lang Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Dna Gene Gene expression

Sigma-Aldrich has strengthened its position in the RNAi and
cell-based assay market by signing a series of agreements in which
the life science company has acquired a minority equity stake in
Genospectra and is granted access to various Genospectra
technologies.

Sigma's intention expands its position in the areas of RNA Interference (RNAi), gene expression and cell based assays, forms part of the life science company's reorgansiation plans, which involves Sigma's two life science and high-tech research businesses.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sigma-Aldrich will gain access to the QuantiGene gene expression profiling assay and Genospectra's technologies for inducible siRNA, a nano-particle system for delivery of siRNA and other biomolecules to cells.

The companies will additionally participate in a joint program to develop new technology and products in the area of cell-based assays.

Sigma-Aldrich​ will receive licenses to commercialise the siRNA and delivery technologies and distribution rights to the QuantiGene product line.

Sigma and Genospectra will participate in a joint development program for cell-based assays, particularly to develop novel live cell biosensor assay reagents.

These reagents provide real-time data on protein activity and location in living cells, and will make an impact in the High Content Screening and Cell-Based Assay fields. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"This biosensor program will be combined with Sigma's existing investment and leadership in RNAi to provide scientists with a set of true solutions that will lead to a better understanding of disease biology and pathway analysis,"​ said David Smoller, vice president of R&D for Sigma-Aldrich's Research Biotech business unit.

"The Genospectra biosensor technology and research collaboration form the foundation for future product development in the rapidly growing area of cell-based assays,"​ said Shaf Yousaf, president of Sigma-Aldrich's Research Biotech business unit.

The QuantiGene product line consists of a reagent system, which is a sandwich nucleic acid hybridisation assay that provides a unique approach for RNA detection and quantification by amplifying the reporter signal using branched DNA (bDNA) technology.

By measuring RNA directly from crude cell lysates or tissue homogenates, the assay avoids variations or errors inherent to extraction and amplification of target sequences.

Branched DNA technology is the basis of clinically proven vial load tests commercialised by Bayer Corporation and has been in practice for over a decade in drug discovery and development applications.

Genospectra also make available the QuantiGene Plex assay combines two technologies, branched DNA (bDNA signal amplification technology) and xMAP (multi-analyte profiling beads).

Together they enable simultaneous detection and quantification of multiple RNA targets directly from cell lysates, tissue homogenates (animal or plant) or purified RNA.

Branched DNA technology is a sandwich nucleic acid hybridisation assay that provides a unique approach for RNA detection and quantification by amplifying the reporter signal rather than the sequence.

By measuring RNA directly from crude cell lysates or tissue homogenates, the assay avoids variations or errors inherent to extraction and amplification of target sequences.

The xMAP system, developed by Luminex, combines flow cytometry, fluorescent-dyed microsphers (beads), lasers and digital signal processing to allow multiplexing of up to 100 unique assays within a single sample.

Related topics Preclinical Research

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