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GEN News Highlights : Aug 13, 2010

OriGene Picks Up Gene-Synthesis Firm Blue Heron Biotechnology

Company’s expertise will bolster Origene’s gene-based services.

OriGene Technologies is acquiring Blue Heron Biotechnology, which has concentrated on gene synthesis since 1999. OriGene believes that coupling Blue Heron’s focus with its own collection of human cDNA clones will provide the life science community with a variety of product solutions including protein and antibody optimization.

Blue Heron says that it supplies synthetic DNA to the majority of the top 20 pharma and biotech companies worldwide. It provided DNA fragments to develop the first synthetic cell for the J. Craig Venter Institute.

Blue Heron is also part of a recently established consortium that was set up to promote biosecurity in the gene-synthesis industry. Along with DNA2.0, GeneArt, GenScript, and Integrated DNA Technologies, the firm formed the International Gene Synthesis Consortium (IGSC).

Their “Harmonized Screening Protocol for Gene Sequence & Customer Screening to Promote Biosecurity” establishes five core components that each IGSC company will apply to promote the safe use of synthetic genes. These include screening of every synthetic gene order against a regulated pathogen database, screening of each potential gene-synthesis customer, creating more robust record keeping, reservation of the right to refuse an order, and compliance with variance laws and regulations.