Allows researchers to assess small samples in high throughput qPCR
PENZBERG, Germany & SAN CARLOS, Calif.–Roche Applied Science and NuGEN Technologies, Inc., a privately held company that develops and commercializes highly sensitive nucleic acid amplification and labeling systems, announced today an agreement that will enable Roche to market and sell an RNA amplification product based on the technology of NuGEN’s proprietary WT-Ovation™. The new product, called LightCycler® RNA Pre-Amplification Kit, is scheduled to be released in the third quarter of 2008.
The LightCycler® RNA Pre-Amplification Kit will allow researchers to conduct whole transcriptome gene expression analysis of the most challenging clinical samples, such as those archived for years in clinical repositories. Accessing the biological information in left over small tissue biopsies, sorted cells, and laser-capture micro-dissected (LCM) samples will shed light on the causes and influences of disease, and guide researchers in their quest for understanding how genomics plays a role in disease areas such as cancer, immune system disorders, and neurological diseases and more.
Adopting NuGEN’s proven whole transcriptome RNA amplification methodology gives Roche, a leader in real time PCR technology, a differential advantage over its competitors in providing high-throughput, multi-test real time PCR assays that will streamline and accelerate the time from sample to discovery, while delivering sensitive, specific, and reproducible results.
Using just nanograms of total RNA, the technology of NuGEN’s WT-Ovation™ allows small and partially degraded RNA samples to be amplified into micrograms of cDNA. The amplified cDNA can then be used for extensive real-time PCR analysis as well as sample archiving.
“The LightCycler® RNA Pre-Amplification Kit will be an important tool in analyzing the samples left over from years of clinical testing,” explained Manfred Baier, Head of Roche Applied Science. “Giving researchers a tool to perform high-throughput, multi-test analysis on these precious samples will significantly advance their understanding of disease processes and pathology, and might accelerate development of enlightening diagnostic tools.”
NuGEN’s reproducible protocols and robust amplification technology require such minute quantities of total RNA that content extracted from small samples will go much farther. This is particularly valuable for worldwide consortia that share irreplaceable archived samples and require data comparisons across projects and sites.
“Roche’s adoption of NuGEN’s WT-Ovation™ is an important validation of the precision of our RNA amplification technology,” noted Elizabeth Hutt, chief executive officer of NuGEN Technologies. “Roche’s global leadership in healthcare and their ability to commercialize powerful basic and medical research tools will ensure that more investigators have better ways to identify and lay claim to discoveries in samples that represent years of clinical research.”
The co-exclusive agreement calls for NuGEN to supply components for the LightCycler® RNA Pre-Amplification Kit, and provides Roche with limited access to the technology of NuGEN’s WT-Ovation™. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world’s leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As the world’s biggest biotech company and an innovator of products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people’s health and quality of life. Roche is the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics and drugs for cancer and transplantation, a market leader in virology and active in other major therapeutic areas such as autoimmune diseases, inflammation, metabolism and central nervous system. In 2006 sales by the Pharmaceuticals Division totaled 33.3 billion Swiss francs, and the Diagnostics Division posted sales of 8.7 billion Swiss francs. Roche employs roughly 75,000 worldwide and has R&D agreements and strategic alliances with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai. Roche’s Diagnostics Division offers a uniquely broad product portfolio and supplies a wide array of innovative testing products and services to researchers, physicians, patients, hospitals and laboratories world-wide. For further information, please visit our website at www.roche.com.
NuGEN Technologies, Inc. (www.nugeninc.com), based in San Carlos, CA, is focused on the development and commercialization of sensitive, rapid, and high-throughput amplification and labeling systems to enable the comprehensive analysis and discovery of biological mechanisms, cellular responses, and disease pathologies.
LIGHTCYLCER is a trademark of Roche.
The technology used for the LightCycler ® System is licensed from Idaho Technology, Inc.
NuGEN, Ovation, SPIA and Ribo-SPIA are registered trademarks of NuGEN Technologies, Inc., WT-Ovation, FL-Ovation, and “Imagine More From Less” are trademarks or service marks of NuGEN Technologies, Inc. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.