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Mar 2, 2010

Metabion Licenses Polyplus-transfection's ZNA Technology for Research and Diagnostic Development

  • Custom nucleic acids company Metabion negotiated a license to manufacture and commercialize Polyplus–transfection’s Zip Nucleic Acid (ZNA™) oligonucleotides for research and diagnostic applications.

    ZNAs are oligonucleotides with attached cationic units. Polyplus claims the molecules display markedly increased sensitivity and affinity without the loss of selectivity. Automated synthesis of ZNAs is carried out using a standard oligonucleotide synthesizer, which allows for the inclusion of additional modifications such as dyes and quenchers.

    The firm claims ZNA’s have a wide range of potential applications as capture probes for Northern and dot blot assays and for microarray and in situ hybridization. The oligos have demonstrated particular benefits as primers and probes in PCR and RT-PCR, Polyplus adds.

    “We see great potential for ZNA-modified oligonucleotides due to the inherent (chemical) advantages they offer for state-of-the-art molecular biological applications,” remarks Metabion CEO, Regina Bichlmaier, Ph.D.

    The licensing deal with Metabion follows on from Polyplus’ November 2009 agreement with Sigma-Aldrich, which gave the latter rights to manufacture and commercialize ZNAs for all research applications.


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MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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