Agreement fosters supply of mouse models created with the company’s ZFN technology.

Sigma Life Sciences and The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) have signed an agreement for the distribution of mouse models created using the former’s zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) technology. The companies claim that the deal will also increase the scope of the CompoZr technology for the creation of knockout organisms and also complements the Sage Labs collection of knockout rat models.

ZFN technology allows transgenic mice to be made in a third of the time previously required and has led to a significant increase in the number of models being produced, generating a need for key distributors to provide access to this new set of animals, Sigma Life Sciences notes.

JAX currently has over 5,000 mouse models available to the scientific community, and its arrangement with Sigma Life Sciences is expected to extend the collection by enabling researchers to donate ZFN-enabled mouse models to JAX for archiving and distribution.

ZFNs are a class of engineered DNA-binding proteins that facilitate targeted editing of the genome by creating double-strand breaks in DNA at user-specified locations. Using well-established and robust protocols, these cellular processes can be harnessed to generate precisely targeted genomic edits resulting in cell lines including somatic cell lines with targeted gene deletions, integrations, or modifications.

Researching human disease through mouse models is The Jackson Laboratory’s primary focus. The company believes that because mice and humans share 95% of their genes, mice are an effective and efficient model for human diseases. In addition to their research, they breed and manage colonies of mice to supply other research institutions and laboratories.

“The Jackson Laboratory is pleased to be able to distribute mice created using the ZFN technology to the research community worldwide,” says Michael V. Wiles, Ph.D., senior director of technology evaluation and development at The Jackson Laboratory. “This novel approach represents a quantum leap in genetic engineering and is expected to enable researchers to develop precise mouse models without the need of ES cells and to advance the understanding of human disease and improve the human condition.”

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