Invitrogen to supply genomics technology

Invitrogen, a provider of life science technologies, has entered
into new licensing agreements to supply its Gateway Technology and
clones to worldwide genomic research centres. This will allow
scientists and laboratories to share the tools of post-genomic
biological research, a rapidly expanding area of drug R&D.

The agreements with Open Biosystems, the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and Ressourceenzentrum fur Genomforschung (RZPD), all active research centres in the field of genomics and proteomics, are to become the recipients of Invitrogen's equipment. With these new agreements, Gateway is now being used by more than 80 per cent of the world's major clone distributors. Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

A spokesman for Invitrogen​ told​: "Many of these institutions were involved with Gateway from the very beginning and adopted early on. Some of them were involved in the development of the system to make sure it met their current and future needs. So we have a lot of history with these groups."

The Gateway Technology provides a platform, allowing a single entry clone to be inserted into as many expression vectors as needed to study its function in a variety of ways without repeating the initial cloning. This reduces the possibility of errors and inconsistencies between studies, and more importantly accelerates research. It is estimated that in shuttling putative targets from one system to another without having to reclone the targets will save 1-3 weeks per target.

Its versatility makes it suitable for researchers who are cloning genes by PCR and downstream protein analysis (expression, RNAi (knockout), functional analysis, structure, localization).

The "open architecture"​ policy announced last November allows government andacademic researchers to create and distribute clones made with Gateway Technology without royalties or licensing fees.

Commenting on the deal Dr. Bernhard Korn, chief research officer at RZPD said: "We chose Gateway Technology early on, because it's a flexible cloning system allowing automated cloning and sub-cloning without the need for re-verifying the clone material after each step,"

"Gateway's open architecture also makes the system ideal to store the DNA fragments, sequences and other resources that we make available via our gene-based search tool."

Invitrogen's move to make its Gateway Technology more accessible to research centres is part of the company's business strategy. Indeed the spokesman commented that these agreements were put into place in order to make the Gateway platform affordable and accessible to all researchers.

Commenting on the future of such technology as Gateway, the spokesman said: "Since the R&D drug development is an emerging field, most of the areas of applications have yet to be uncovered. Scientists will be able to focus on the groundbreaking discovery rather than the initial stages of cloning which has historically been the bottleneck in the process."

Past users of this technology include the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Also, earlier this year the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), parts of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) adopted the technology too.

Recently the Dana Farber/Harvard Medical School reported the cloning of over 12,000 C. elegans ORFs into Gateway to verify genome annotation. Over 50 per cent of predicted genes needed corrections in their intron-exon structures.

11,000 of the C.elegans proteins can now be expressed under many conditions and characterized using various high-throughput strategies, including large-scale interactome mapping.

Similar technologies currently on the market involve using recombinases for transferring DNA fragments. One example includes BD Clontech's Creator System.

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