The use of synthetic gene constructs to produce engineered cell lines that increase the efficiency of biological drug and vaccine formation or speed-up the drug discovery process has been growing rapidly. According to Geneart, the production of synthetic genes is fast replacing laborious cloning strategies, with gene constructs being tailored to exactly match each customer's project requirements. As such, there has been an explosion in the number of company's offering custom gene synthesis services and Geneart has now launched a new brand into this highly competitive arena to complement its high-end gene construction service offering. Dubbed Mr Gene, the new eCommerce system is the first fully on-line design and ordering system that allows customers to optimise their gene sequences to produce more of the proteins they are being designed to code for. "This is the first fully we-based process, the first online tool where you can optimise your gene for a specific application and at the same time order the sequence," said Bernd Merkl, Business Development Manager at Geneart. "The customer designs the sequence and enters it directly into the computer, enabling Geneart the ability to offer them attractive prices." Synthetic genes produce using the service will cost €0.69 per base pair, giving scientists with smaller budgets easier access to the benefits of using gene constructs. "Universities and public research institutes now show a strongly growing demand for competitively priced synthetic genes," said Professor Wagner, Geneart's chief scientific officer. "We are delighted that Mr Gene will now bring many advantages of using synthetic genes to academic research groups as well." To benefit from the new offering, customers need to go to www.MrGene.com and fill in a profile to enable the company to check that they are reputable scientists before they build the constructs for them. According to Merkl, the ordering process can be completed in minutes once the profile has been entered into the system depending on the complexity of the construct and how long the researcher wants to spend optimising its design. The sequences are then checked before synthesis to ensure that no hazardous sequences are produced. Customers should then expect their constructs in around three weeks. "Mr Gene as a second brand is our answer to the anticipated strong sales growth in this market segment," said Christian Ehl, chief financial officer at Geneart. "Our medium term projections put the Mr Gene sales at 25 percent of the Geneart sales. The operating margin for Mr Gene products will be equally attractive thanks to the high level of automation using the eCommerce platform."