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Applied Biosystems Collaborates with Eagle Research and Development

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Applied BiosystemsGroup, an Applera Corporation business, has announced that it has signed an agreement with Eagle Research and Development, LLC to collaborate on further developing a single molecule detection device invented by Eagle.

As part of the agreement, Applied Biosystems has received an exclusive two-year option to license the technology.

Eagle’s patented technology, currently in prototype stage, identifies and quantifies molecules based on their electronic charge signatures.

Applied Biosystems believes the technology could have significant implications for advancing personalized medicine based on its potential for protein and nucleic acid identification, protein-protein and protein/small molecule interaction measurements, and DNA sequencing.

Eagle received a two-year research grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute in 2002 to demonstrate a DNA detection method using a nanopore-based device.

The miniature silicon device constructed by Eagle consists of an array of nanopores, with each nanopore containing embedded semiconductors or field-effect transistors (FETs).

As single molecules are driven through a nanopore by a voltage differential, the three-dimensional charge profile of a molecule is measured by the FETs.

"This technology offers the prospect to eventually correlate DNA and its expressed proteins with specific disease states using an inexpensive, disposable and portable device, which could be a boon for clinical research," said Jon Sauer, founder of Eagle Research and Development.

"For example, the device has the potential to enable development of exquisitely targeted treatments using sequencing data both from a patient and from the disease-causing pathogen."

"A rapid, cost-effective and portable molecular detection device has the potential to advance a wide-range of important life science applications," said Dennis Gilbert, chief scientific officer of Applied Biosystems.

"While it is still in early stages, we are excited about exploring this technology’s ability to achieve these goals by identifying molecules directly by electronic charge signatures, a capability which could also represent the future of label-free molecule detection."

Applied Biosystems intends to focus initial development support and feasibility testing for applications in protein identification and detection of protein-binding events.

Provided the ability to electronically profile the individual four nucleotides in DNA is further developed, Applied Biosystems believes the Eagle technology could enable the identification and measurement of both DNA and proteins in a single sample at the same time.