Roche Applied Science and NuGEN Technologies, Inc., have announced 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.