Under terms of the acquisition agreement, AITbiotech’s oligonucleotide synthesis business will be transferred to IDT’s facility in Singapore which opened in 2013, in a move the firm says will help expand its customer base across Southeast Asia.
Oligonucleotides (‘oligos’) are synthetic strands of DNA and RNA used in both the drug discovery and development process, while firms like AstraZeneca and Roche are also investigating them for use as drugs themselves.
“Academic and industrial researchers use oligos for a wide range of life science applications, including gene expression studies, next generation sequencing, synthetic biology, and, now, genome editing,” IDT spokesperson Jeanine Jensen told in-Pharmatechnologist.com.
She added global market growth for oligonucleotide synthesis is expected to be 9.8% CAGR over the next few years.
This is due to “increased focus on targeted sequencing of human and other genomes and the advent of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing,” and thus “an abundance of oligos are needed to feed this research.
“As the economies of Southeast Asia continue to grow, so does interest and investment in scientific research.”
Both IDT and AITbiotech use the phosphoramidite method to manufacture oligonucleotides, Jensen explained.
“In this method, the precursor molecules of the oligonucleotide subunits are added to a solid support in series, forming a growing chain, until the desired sequence is obtained.”