Strasbourg, September 15, 2008 – Polyplus-transfection® SA, a company specialized in the research, development and marketing of innovative reagents for transfection and RNA interference (RNAi), announces today that it has developed a new class of cationic oligonucleotides. These are called “ZNA™” and have a promising potential in molecular biology. Polyplus owns the intellectual property.
Polyplus-transfection has recently established proof of concept showing that ZNA™ used as detection probes improve PCR technology performance. In particular, ZNA™ increase the sensitivity of tests and the ability to detect mutations. As well as presenting a similar efficacy to the best modified oligonucleotides on the market, ZNA™ possess major advantages compared to competing products. They are easy to design and will cost less to produce.
ZNA™ offer an increased affinity for nucleic acids without losing selectivity and therefore will improve the performance of other molecular hybridisation techniques such as in situ hybridisation and microarrays. They could also be used for in vitro detection of micro-RNAs, a new class of intracellular effectors. This means that ZNA™ are likely to become powerful and reliable tools in research and diagnostics.
“Polyplus is extending its activities from transfection reagents to molecular biology tools for research and diagnostics,” said Joëlle Bloch, CEO of Polyplus-transfection. “Our next step will be to market ZNA™ via a network of firms specialized in this field. We are also actively seeking partners to help us develop a range of applications for ZNA™.”
Polyplus-transfection will present its first results in a talk entitled “ZNA™: New High-Affinity Synthetic Oligonucleotides as Powerful Tools for PCR” at the international Advances in qPCR conference taking place in Stockholm Sweden, September 17-18 2008.
ZNA™ are oligocation-oligonucleotide conjugates which have an increased affinity for their complementary sequence without losing selectivity. This affinity increase is due to the oligocationic part which reduces the charge repulsion between the two strands of nucleic acid. Because of the non-directive nature of electrostatic interactions, this affinity gain is independent of the base sequence and is therefore predictable, thus making the design of ZNA™ extremely easy.
ZNA™ are made with a standard oligonucleotide synthesizer allowing fast, cost-effective production as well as the ability to add other modifications such as fluorescent markers.