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Sigma and Genospectra Signs Agreements to Expand Position in RNAi and Cell Based Assays

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Sigma-Aldrich has announced that it has signed a series of agreements that expands its position in the areas of RNA Interference, gene expression and cell based assays.

Sigma-Aldrich and Genospectra have signed several agreements in which Sigma-Aldrich acquires a minority equity stake in Genospectra and is granted access to various Genospectra technologies.

Under the agreed upon terms Sigma-Aldrich gained access to the QuantiGene gene expression profiling assay and Genospectra's technologies for inducible siRNA, a nano-particle system for delivery of siRNA and other biomolecules to cells.

The companies will participate in a joint program to develop technology and products in the area of cell-based assays.

"We are very pleased to enter into this relationship with Genospectra," said Shaf Yousaf, President of Sigma-Aldrich's Research Biotech business unit.

"These agreements strengthen our already strong portfolio of products in the areas of RNA Interference and RNA profiling."

"Just as importantly, the Genospectra biosensor technology and research collaboration form the foundation for future product development in the rapidly growing area of cell- based assays."

Dr. Frank Witney, Genospectra's CEO, said, "We are delighted with Sigma- Aldrich's decision to invest and partner with Genospectra."

"Sigma is an important player in the life sciences reagents space, so this new relationship validates both Genospectra's strategy and portfolio, and will drive both companies' programs in novel areas such as biosensors and cell based assays."

Under the terms of the agreements, Sigma-Aldrich will receive licenses to commercialize the inducible siRNA and delivery technologies and distribution rights to the QuantiGene® product line.

Sigma and Genospectra will participate in a joint development program for cell-based assays, particularly to develop live cell biosensor assay reagents.

These reagents provide real-time data on protein activity and location in living cells, and will make an impact in the High Content Screening and Cell-Based Assay fields.

"Sigma-Aldrich's leadership and capabilities in technology commercialization and product development, combined with Genospectra's cutting edge platforms in the area of systems biology, provides significant potential for success," said Dr. David Smoller, Vice President of R&D for Sigma- Aldrich's Research Biotech business unit.

"This biosensor program will be combined with Sigma's existing investment and leadership in RNAi to provide scientists with a set of true solutions that will lead to a better understanding of disease biology and pathway analysis."