ZyGEM Expands DNA Product Portfolio by Licensing Rights to Innovative DNA Purification Technology From WaikatoLink

Tuesday, September 30, 2008 General News
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-Nucleic Acid Sequestering Technology Enables Easy Removal of Unwanted DNA to Ensure More Accurate Analyses for Diagnostic, Scientific, Forensic and Industrial Applications-

SOLANA BEACH, Calif., and HAMILTON, New Zealand, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- ZyGEM Corp. Ltd. today announced that it has entered into an agreement with WaikatoLink, the technology transfer and commercialisation unit of the University of Waikato, for exclusive worldwide rights to its intellectual property for an innovative product for DNA purification. The new product technology allows blocking of all DNA contamination from samples destined for use in sensitive DNA-based diagnostic tests and analyses, including tests where contamination from even a single molecule would result in failure. ZyGEM intends to make the Nucleic Acid Sequestering (NAS) technology available to customers shortly.

"This new technology is an ideal fit with ZyGEM's current portfolio of DNA-related products, including our unique families of kits that provide for simple, fast, accurate and cost effective DNA extraction from a wide variety of samples," said Paul Kinnon, CEO of ZyGEM. "By removing DNA contaminants from samples before amplification using a simple and efficient process, our NAS technology has the potential for wide application in sample preparation and clean-up, which is critical for achieving accurate results in many diagnostic, forensics, basic research and enzyme manufacturing applications."

The NAS purification technology has many potential uses, such as in the microbiology field where contaminating DNA in reagents and laboratory water limits the ability of scientists to analyse environmental samples. The technique is expected to be of utility in trace DNA analysis of forensic samples and in the detection of a single virus or bacterium in clinical diagnostics applications. While the new approach has similar properties to the enzyme DNAse1, which eliminates what scientists often call garbage DNA and other cellular leftovers in the body by biochemically chopping them into tiny fragments for easier removal, NAS technology achieves this in a simpler and more efficient manner.

WaikatoLink's Chief Executive Mark Stuart noted, "This is a great opportunity for us to leverage the commercialisation channel that ZyGEM is building and to take advantage of the natural synergies between this new technology and ZyGEM's current portfolio of DNA-related products for diagnostics and other applications. These types of agreements make our innovative technologies available to users worldwide and they also enable WaikatoLink to ensure that some of the proceeds from the University of Waikato's inventions are used to support its educational and scientific mission."

ZyGEM's innovative enzyme-based products and technologies are based on the company's exclusive collection of microorganisms from extreme environments. Its technology has significant competitive advantages over existing methods and has applications in a number of sizeable global markets. ZyGEM was originally established with the help of WaikatoLink to commercialise unique DNA extraction methods developed in collaboration by University of Waikato and University of Auckland researchers. The company has offices in New Zealand and the U.S.

Further details of the agreement were not disclosed.

About ZyGEM Corporation

ZyGEM Corporation Limited is a rapidly growing biotechnology company with a range of innovative enzyme-based products and technologies based on the company's exclusive collection of microorganisms from extreme environments. ZyGEM's technology has significant competitive advantages over existing methods and has potential applications in a number of sizeable global markets. ZyGEM currently produces DNA extraction and detection products, molecular biology enzymes and individual enzymes and diagnostics, serving life sciences customers in basic research, forensics, clinical diagnostics and agriculture. ZyGEM has facilities in New Zealand and the U.S.A. For more information, visit http://www.ZyGEM.com

About WaikatoLink Limited

WaikatoLink Limited is a world class technology development and investment company, with a strong track record in translating research outcomes into commercial technologies. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of the University of Waikato, it achieves this by identifying, managing and commercialising the University's intellectual property. Since its establishment in 2002, WaikatoLink has completed numerous licensing deals and established more than 12 start-up companies and joint ventures, which have collectively created more than 138 full-time equivalent jobs and achieved market capitalisation nearing NZ$200 million. Three of its start-ups have already been successfully exited. WaikatoLink's impressive performance is reflected in its top 3% rating when benchmarked against U.S. university technology transfer offices (AUTM survey data).


Contacts: ZyGEM Corporate: Paul Kinnon President and CEO 858 720-8333 Media: Jennifer Anderson (212) 918-4642 janderson@biocompartners.com WaikatoLink Media: (WaikatoLink) Sandra Lukey Shine Group 021 2262 858 (NZ)


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