SAFC inks licensing deal with Agilent for proprietary monomers

By Alexandria Pesic

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nucleic acid

SAFC, the custom manufacturing and business services wing of Sigma Aldritch, has announced a licensing agreement with biotech company, Agilent Technologies, for the sale of its nucleic acids synthesis products and technologies.

The Missouri, US-based company said the agreement covered Agilent’s proprietary TC-RNA phosphoramidites - chemistries which allow customers to produce RNA-based oligonucleotides (oligos) in the same timeframe as DNA oligos.

Products offered by SAFC under the licensing agreement are O2’-TC-RNA amidites, specifically rA(bz), rC(ib), rG(ib) and rU, and will come in 0.5 and 1.0g pre-packaged, ready-to-use configurations for the most common synthesisers, with bulk configurations planned for SAFC’s St Louis, USA, and Hamburg, Germany facilities.

Sobia Nayar, SAFC’s global market segment manager, told in-PharmaTechnologist about the potential benefits to customers.

“The technology from Agilent combines two advantages,” ​she said, “firstly, shortened cycle times for oligo production, and secondly, enhanced use, as with TC monomers, new applications can be developed.

“It enables customers to produce RNA oligos with more than 100 bases in a sequence, which was previously impossible. This and the decreased cycle times makes it superior technology to any others available in the market,” ​she added.

Deprotection processes

Use of these amidites, claims SAFC, can help oligo houses, pharma companies, and other contract manufacturing organisations (CMOs) “streamline deprotection services” ​which it says can result in competitively priced, high-quality products.

Nayar​explained more: “The deprotection process is streamlined as a result of the features and benefits offered by the TC protecting group, in that the coupling times are reduced and coupling efficiency is improved.

“Single step protection can be achieved within two hours compared to the traditional, multi-step overnight deprotection.”

According to Nayar, this “game changing technology” ​allows CMOs to produce long RNA oligos within 24 hours, thereby improving overall productivity and cost efficiencies.

“The technology opens up new markets for CMOs and oligo houses, as they can now offer RNA oligos for long mers [the repeating unit in a polymer chain],” ​she said.

Historic relationship

James Powell, general manager of Agilent’s nucleic acid solutions unit, said the two companies already enjoyed a solid relationship based on 25 years of experience in the sector.

“SAFC has built up significant expertise in producing large scale RNA chemistries with their primary focus being to develop manufacture and sell amidites,” ​he said, “We are making our products available through a trusted manufacturer with proven consistent high quality and know-how, which has the capacity to scale up to meet market needs.

“We believe these factors will drive sales globally while providing unrivalled technical and customer support.”

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