Nucleic Acid Amplification

Company Announcements Beckman Coulter signed an OEM and supply agreement in fall 2006 to provide the Agencourt RNAClean nucleic acid purification product for packaging in NuGEN Technologies’ WT-Ovation Pico RNA Amplification System. Finnzymes Instruments licensed key thermal cycler and PCR patents from Applied Biosystems in fall 2006. In January, Finnzymes Instruments and Bridge Biosciences formed BioInnovations Oy to design PCR vessels. Bridge Biosciences transferred the assets and patents of its PCR plastics business to the new company, which is headed by Bridge Biosciences President Bruce Turner. Hamilton is offering its MICROLAB STAR pipetting workstation with Gene Express’s StaRT-PCR (standardized reverse transcription PCR) technology. In December 2006, Warnex announced it is exploring strategic alternatives for its pathogen detection business. Under an exclusive licensing agreement, Sigma-Aldrich will further develop and commercialize Rubicon Genomics’ TransPlex Whole Transcriptome Amplification technology for amplifying total RNA. Rubicon retained rights to TransPlex for molecular diagnostics. In January, Cepheid and Idaho Technology signed a settlement and cross license agreement to resolve a patent infringement suit brought by Idaho Technology and its licensor, University of Utah Research Foundation, against Cepheid. The suit alleged the infringement of patents related to rapid PCR methods and instrumentation, the use of SYBR Green I in PCR reactions and certain methods of analysis of real-time PCR data. Cepheid made a one-time payment of $3.35 million to Idaho Technology. Product Introductions Finnzymes Instruments introduced the Piko thermal cycler, featuring the Slidetiter format. QIAGEN NV launched the Fast Cycling PCR kit, which does not require optimization. In January, QIAGEN released the QuantiFast kit based on Fast Cycling PCR technology for real-time PCR. Fluidigm introduced BioMark dynamic arrays, a platform for gene expression analysis that runs TaqMan assay on nanofluidic chips. Fluidigm launched digital arrays, its second line of nanofluidic chips run on the BioMark system, for qPCR. NuGEN Technologies released the Ovation RNA Amplification System V2, a modular amplification system for RNA from any source, and the Ovation WB Reagent for the Ovation Whole Blood Solution. Applied Biosystems released a new series of TaqMan Law Density Array Gene Signature Panels, including arrays for studying G-protein coupled receptors, ATP-binding cassette transporters and the apoptosis pathway. Applied Biosystems introduced the cost-effective StepOne Real-Time PCR System for lower-throughput applications.

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