The RNA samples currently available through the company's e-commerce website include those from common cancers such as breast and colon, although the company said it will be soon adding thousands of samples from a wide range of diseases. "The value of RNA analysis is that it is an effective way of differentiating between the diseased state and normal state of tissues," said Dr Victoria Blanc, Asterand's director of product development. "Our provision of this material over the internet expedites the process of identification of novel cellular targets for drug development." She added that the high quality RNA coupled with the easy way of purchase samples over the internet is crucial. "The isolation of the RNA is complete, its integrity has been evaluated and approved, and therefore experiments can be planned and executed without delays," said Blanc. "We are providing scientists with unique and unusual material. Each sample of total RNA is from an individual donor, supplied in 5µg aliquots." According to Asterand, each sample has been quality assured and confirmed to have an RNA integrity number of at least six, and in tumor samples, no less than 70 per cent tumor cells. This ensures that the materials are suitable for all forms of gene expression analysis - from Northern blots, to TaqMan to Affymetrix chips, explained Blanc. "Over the last several years we have gained a great deal of experience in processing hundreds of thousands of samples of RNA," said Dr Anja Penger, director of biomaterials, and head of the RNA project at Asterand's UK facility. "Our team has high throughput capacity for measuring and aliquotting samples, bar-coding and distribution. We are very excited to be able to provide the RNA with the efficiency of online sales." Asterand is a UK public company that supports human drug discovery by providing human biomaterials and preclinical research services.