Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) has acquired the SURVEYOR® enzyme business of Transgenomic, Inc. As part of the agreement with Transgenomic, IDT will acquire the SURVEYOR product line and intellectual property. Transgenomic will receive an exclusive license for clinical and diagnostic use of SURVEYOR products from IDT. Additional terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The key component of SURVEYOR products is SURVEYOR Nuclease, a member of the CEL nuclease family of mismatch-specific nucleases isolated from celery. SURVEYOR Nuclease has been shown to recognize and cleave mismatches arising from single nucleotide polymorphisms or small insertions or deletions.
The SURVEYOR Mutation Detection Kits provide a simple and robust method for detecting mutations and polymorphisms in DNA. IDT will sell SURVEYOR Mutation Detection Kits for both gel electrophoresis analysis and use on Transgenomic’s WAVE and WAVE HS systems. Transgenomic will continue to sell and support the WAVE and WAVE HS systems.
In addition to mutation detection, SURVEYOR Mutation Detection has emerged as the method of choice for verifying the outcome of genome editing by zinc finger nucleases, TALENs, CRISPR/Cas9 systems, and other emergent technologies. Genome editing is a mechanism of genetic engineering that employs “molecular scissors” to modify sections of DNA within a genome. These technologies are being investigated for use in excising defective regions within a genome and replacing them with the correct, desired sequences. The most recent of the technologies, clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) systems, which occur naturally in lower organisms, are being manipulated to provide a flexible, specific, and relatively easy means of modifying mammalian genomes. Scientists are developing CRISPR/Cas9 systems for use in the clinic with the hope that millions of people can finally be cured of genetic disease.
Stephen Gunstream, Chief Commercial Officer at IDT, said of the acquisition, “We are excited about adding the SURVEYOR product line to our growing molecular biology portfolio. These products will be of great benefit to IDT customers, most of whom are in the field of genetic analysis, and of particular use to those whose work involves mutation detection or validation of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing. IDT can offer these products with the same speed, quality, and support for which we have become known. We plan to continue developing and commercializing further applications of SURVEYOR Nuclease.”
Paul Kinnon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transgenomic, commented, “The sale of our SURVEYOR Nuclease technology and assets for the research market to IDT allows us to focus more resources on our commercialization efforts in our core Patient Testing, Biomarker Identification, and Genetic Analysis and Platforms business units. By licensing back exclusive rights to clinical and diagnostic uses of the technology, we have ensured that we will have continued access to SURVEYOR technology in high value clinical and pharmaceutical services applications.”