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Dharmacon, Inc. And GenoSpectra To Launch Genome-Wide Line Of Novel RNA Assays For Gene Silencing Measurement


10/19/2005 5:11:41 PM

LAFAYETTE, Colo., and FREMONT, Calif., July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Dharmacon, Inc., the world's leading supplier of innovative RNA and RNA interference (RNAi) research products, and Genospectra, Inc., the exclusive supplier of QuantiGene(R) branched DNA (bDNA) gene expression profiling technology, today announced an agreement to launch a genome-wide line of assays specifically designed to measure RNA changes directly from cell lysates, fresh tissue and archived tissue samples.

The new QuantiGene human genome RNA profiling products will provide accurate and precise measurement of gene-silencing experiments using small interfering RNA (siRNA). When used together, QuantiGene bDNA assays and SMARTpool siRNA products will allow researchers to accurately and efficiently validate RNAi gene knockdown studies, as well as compare and standardize data between experiments and laboratories. The companies plan to jointly sell and market the assays to the life science research market.

This collaboration leverages the natural synergy between Dharmacon's potent and specific SMARTselection(TM) designed siRNA reagents for silencing target gene expression and Genospectra's QuantiGene technology for measuring the silencing effect achieved. The QuantiGene Reagent system uses bDNA hybridization to directly measure the amount of messenger RNA produced by a target gene, providing a precise indication of gene function, including transcriptional repression or activation.

"With this agreement, we are now able to provide two leading-edge technologies: Dharmacon's SMARTpool siRNA gene-silencing reagents and Genospectra's QuantiGene expression profiling tools, for all unique human genes," said Leland Foster, president & chief executive officer, Fisher Bio-Chemicals Group. "We have found that Genospectra's QuantiGene assays are among the most accurate, reproducible, and easy-to-use RNA expression assays available today. We are pleased to be able to offer these guaranteed QuantiGene assays to our gene silencing customers. This partnership with Genospectra illustrates our ongoing commitment to collaborating with leading firms offering innovative products that advance life science research."

bDNA is an RNA detection and signal amplification technology that quantifies the presence of endogenous nucleic acids directly from lysed cells or tissues without the need for RNA purification, reverse transcription, or PCR amplification. The two companies will offer guaranteed QuantiGene assays for the entire human genome.

"The QuantiGene technology is ideal for RNAi validation where accuracy and precision are important to distinguish even small differences in mRNA levels," said Frank Witney, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Genospectra. "QuantiGene provides a rapid, robust way to measure RNA levels without the need for RNA purification, in a fraction of the time and without expensive capital equipment. Market acceptance of the QuantiGene System has been excellent, and now this new relationship with Dharmacon will allow us to combine two very powerful tools to accelerate target validation and gene function studies."

Under the terms of the agreement, Genospectra will develop a genome-wide line of QuantiGene assays corresponding to Dharmacon's siGENOME siRNA reagents targeting human genes. Dharmacon will promote Genospectra's bDNA technology and sell QuantiGene assays and QuantiGene probe sets on its Website with both companies combining efforts in sales and marketing activities.

About Dharmacon

Dharmacon is the world's leading provider of reliable, high quality RNA oligonucleotides, small interfering RNA (siRNA) and related RNA-interference (RNAi) products and technologies. Using its core expertise in chemistry, biology, bioinformatics and production, Dharmacon has pioneered a custom siRNA design service that employs its proprietary technologies for maximizing the efficiency of gene silencing, a powerful and increasingly widely-used new technology based on siRNA. Dharmacon's proprietary SMARTselection(TM) and SMARTpool(R) technologies result in potent and specific gene-silencing agents that can accelerate a broad range of life-science research. Dharmacon's siGENOME(TM) siRNA, a comprehensive and flexible gene-silencing collection, offers guaranteed SMARTpool reagents and SMARTselection-designed siRNAs targeting all unique human genes in the NCBI RefSeq database. The company's recently released ON-TARGET(TM) siRNA further enhances silencing specificity, and its revolutionary new siSTABLE(TM) siRNA offers unparalleled stability and gene-silencing longevity. Founded in 1995 and based in Lafayette, Colo., Dharmacon is a subsidiary of Fisher Scientific International Inc. For more information, visit the company's Website at http://www.dharmacon.com/.

About Genospectra

Genospectra, Inc. is a privately-held life science company developing technologies and products for Parallel Quantitative Biology (PQB(TM)) for dynamic measurements of cellular biology. Genospectra's PQB initiative is focused on creating novel cell-based assays and tools that enable multiplex measurements of molecular events, such as intracellular pathway analysis, in a quantitative and scalable manner. Genospectra's first product line, the QuantiGene(R) Reagent System was launched in 2003, and is powered by the FDA approved and proprietary branched DNA technology for gene expression analysis in cell-based assays. This novel technology is important in accurate quantitation of RNA levels without RNA purification for biomarker analysis, RNA interference, microarray validation and predictive toxicology. The company's products are targeted to research cellular pathways, to dissect molecular models of human disease, and to discover the next generation of medicines. Genospectra was founded in April 2000 and is based in Fremont, California. For additional information, please visit the company's Website at http://www.genospectra.com/.

For further information, please contact: Melanie Mahtani, Ph.D., V.P. Business Development of Genospectra, Inc., +1-510-818-2689, mmahtani@genospectra.com; or Michael Deines, V.P. Marketing of Dharmacon, Inc., +1-303-604-9499, deines.m@dharmacon.com; or media, Barbara Lindheim of GendelLindheim BioCom Partners, +1-212-918-4650, for Dharmacon, Inc.

Dharmacon, Inc.

CONTACT: Melanie Mahtani, Ph.D., V.P. Business Development ofGenospectra, Inc., +1-510-818-2689, mmahtani@genospectra.com; or MichaelDeines, V.P. Marketing of Dharmacon, Inc., +1-303-604-9499,deines.m@dharmacon.com; or media, Barbara Lindheim of GendelLindheim BioComPartners, +1-212-918-4650, for Dharmacon, Inc.


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