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Luminex and Exiqon Introduce FlexmiR – A MicroRNA Product Line

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Luminex Corporation and Exiqon A/S have announced the launch of FlexmiR, a line of microRNA products that can provide more than 6,300 data points in four hours.

Developed by Exiqon A/S in collaboration with the Luminex Bioscience Group (LBG), FlexmiR combines Luminex's flexible xMAP® technology and Exiqon's Locked Nucleic Acid™ (LNA) technology can deliver more data in less time.

MicroRNAs are a class of regulatory ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules that affect gene regulation. Discovered less than a decade ago, microRNAs may regulate as much as one third of all genes in the genome and influence a wide range of biological activities and cellular processes.

Scientists are finding that various diseases and conditions are associated with specific microRNA patterns, which may lead to the development of targeted treatments, such as gene therapy.

"MicroRNA research has great promise, and may be the backbone of many of the most cutting-edge medical therapies of tomorrow. Already microRNAs are of high interest to researchers engaged in the fights against a range of cancers, viral infections, and diseases such as diabetes," said Patrick J. Balthrop, president and chief executive officer of Luminex.

"FlexmiR provides researchers with a comprehensive, yet simple and highly accurate means to profile microRNA. There are no other technologies available today that offer the same level of comprehensive analysis with the speed and specificity that FlexmiR provides. This is a very exciting development for Luminex, our partners and the scientists who will use FlexmiR."

The FlexmiR Human and FlexmiR Mouse/Rat panels can give researchers the ability to measure the expression of microRNA sequences from the public miRBase database using total RNA samples without the need for RNA size fractionation or amplification.

The general flow of the FlexmiR products can allow researchers to biotinylate the 3' end of total RNA, followed by a hybridization step where the labeled miRNA hybridizes specifically to LNA capture probes coupled to xMAP microspheres.

The detection of the biotinylated miRNA is achieved by the reaction with Streptavidin-Phycoerythrin (SA-PE) and final read of the samples in a standard 96-well plate on a Luminex analyzer.

Luminex created the LBG in 2005 in response to market demand for multiplexed solutions in emerging bio-assay applications. The group's goal is to identify key assay development opportunities and provide solutions to Luminex partners and customers.

"Exiqon has been engaged in the microRNA field for the past three years and is committed to provide the best microRNA research products for scientists," said Lars Kongsbak, president and chief executive officer of Exiqon.

"With the FlexmiR product series our highly specific microRNA detection chemistries are available to users of the Luminex analyzers, which is an important strategic accomplishment for Exiqon."