Life Technologies Licenses Quantum Dots Technology to Zymera for Imaging and Biomarker Discovery Applications
News May 15, 2009
Life Technologies Corporation and Zymera, Inc. have announced a licensing and supply agreement that gives Zymera rights to Life Technologies’ extensive intellectual property estate related to quantum dots. Zymera will use Life Technologies’ Qdot® nanocrystals to create new, self-illuminating quantum dot products to improve in vivo imaging, biomarker discovery and a growing number of biosensing applications.
Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as academic researchers, use Life Technologies’ Qdot nanocrystals for studies of the underlying basis of disease and for detecting targets in complex mixtures. These nanocrystals are nanometer size, fluorescent particles made of semiconductor materials, which are invisible to the naked eye. These tiny particles emit intensely bright light when exposed to low-cost violet or ultraviolet light sources, displaying unique colors due to differences in size and composition.
Zymera’s novel self-illumination technology uses Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer, also referred to as BRET, to transfer light from a bioluminescent protein – such as luciferase – directly to quantum dots. The resulting BRET dots produce light without an external source of illumination, eliminating autofluorescence background and the need for external light sources, such as lasers.
As a result, it is possible to visualize targets deeper in tissue sections or living animals, and to identify multiple targets at the same time with a wider variety of detection devices. Zymera expects to combine the technologies to develop new products for tracing blood and lymphatic fluid flow, tracking cells, and detecting biomarkers for use across a range of life science applications.
Mark Stevenson, President and Chief Operating Officer at Life Technologies, said, “This agreement enables Life Technologies to work with Zymera to expand the applications of our quantum dot technology portfolio beyond fluorescence into bioluminescence, which will enable our entry into new markets. The combination of Zymera’s technology with our fluorescent nanocrystals has the potential to create powerful solutions for the applied markets and other applications.”
Steve Miller, Vice President of Commercialization at Zymera, “Quantum dot technology is one of the fastest-evolving technologies in life science. By licensing intellectual property from the market leader in fluorescence-based applications, we are able to advance our Zymera solutions to further unleash the potential of self-illuminating quantum dot products for more scientists to apply this technology to get a clearer picture of complex samples.”
Animal venoms are the subject of study at research center based at the Butantan Institute in São Paulo. But in this case, the idea is not to find antidotes, but rather to use the properties of the venoms themselves to identify molecular targets of diseases and, armed with that knowledge, develop new compounds that can be used as medicines.