Sigma Aldrich in licensing agreement to market novel ZNA oligonucleotides

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 hybridization techniques.

“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 biology.”

Sigma-Aldrich offers a comprehensive collection of customized oligonucleotide services, including DNA oligos, DNA probes, RNA, siRNA oligos and peptide synthesis.

*About ZNA

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.


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