Sigma Aldrich in licensing agreement to market novel ZNA
3 December 2009
Sigma-Aldrich (NASDAQ: SIAL) has announced a worldwide
licensing agreement with Strasbourg-based company Polyplus-transfection
to manufacture and commercialize Zip Nucleic Acid (ZNA*)
oligonucleotides, a new technology that provides solutions for increased
affinity for nucleic acids.
Under the terms of the license, Sigma-Aldrich has rights to
manufacture and commercialize ZNA oligonucleotides for all research
applications. Sigma-Aldrich is the first company to offer ZNA as custom
DNA and RNA oligonucleotides to the life science community.
ZNA are oligonucleotides with attached cationic units. They offer
significant value for a variety of applications in research and
diagnostics applications. Research applications include PCR probes, PCR
primers, in-vitro micro RNA detection and inhibition and siRNA.
The addition of cationic residues to oligonucleotides increases their
sensitivity and their ability to detect mutations, while remaining both
easy to design and cost effective. ZNA also offers an increased affinity
for nucleic acids without losing selectivity, improving performance in
“Sigma-Aldrich offers the largest portfolio of modifications and
labels for oligonucleotides. We consider ZNA an important addition to
our portfolio. The increased performances seen for ZNA oligonucleotides
offers advantages for our customers, and we look forward to making this
technology available to our global customer base,“ commented Theresa S.
Creasey, Ph.D., Vice President of Sigma Custom Products, Sigma-Aldrich.
Frédéric Perraud, CEO of Polyplus-transfection, added: “We are very
proud to collaborate with a leading life science company such as
Sigma-Aldrich. This major agreement gives access to our ZNA technology
to scientists worldwide and allows Polyplus to capitalize on its nucleic
acid delivery research toward innovative applications in molecular
Sigma-Aldrich offers a comprehensive collection of customized
oligonucleotide services, including DNA oligos, DNA probes, RNA, siRNA
oligos and peptide synthesis.
ZNA™ (Zip Nucleic Acids) are oligocation-oligonucleotide conjugates
that have an increased affinity for their complementary sequence without
losing selectivity. This affinity increase is due to the cationic
moieties, which reduce the charge repulsion between the two strands of
nucleic acid. Thanks to the non-directive nature of electrostatic
interactions, this affinity gain is independent of the base sequence and
hence predictable, thus making the design of ZNA extremely easy. ZNA are
made with a standard oligonucleotide synthesizer allowing fast,
cost-effective production as well as the ability to add other
modifications such as fluorescent markers.