SAFC today announced an extension to Sigma-Aldrich’s proprietary CompoZr® Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN) platform that will expand the availability of ZFN-based technology to include off-the-shelf ZFNs and custom cell engineering services for use in the biopharmaceutical industry.
“In a few short years, ZFNs have made a significant impact on the scientific community,” said Dr. Kevin J. Kayser, Associate Director of the Cell Sciences and Development group at SAFC. “The ability to make targeted, heritable changes to genes has already led to quicker development of knock-in and knock-out cell lines for drug discovery programs and more productive cell lines for therapeutic protein manufacturing. We have conducted significant development work for deploying ZFN technology across commercial biopharmaceutical applications.”
SAFC’s offer complements ZFN products already in use in research and drug discovery fields and will include animal component-free catalog ZFNs for use in CHO cells as well as custom cell engineering services. This offer is expected to enable biopharmaceutical customers to create robust, efficient cell lines, thus allowing them to focus their R&D efforts on developing new therapeutics.
“One of the core areas of focus for SAFC is investing in the development of expertise across emerging technologies that both differentiate us in the marketplace and deliver tangible benefits that support customers in the development of next-generation therapeutics,” added Gilles Cottier, SAFC President. “We are providing an array of customized ZFN-based products and services designed to meet the evolving demands of the biopharmaceutical market. Our investment in leading-edge technologies, together with our raw materials characterization initiatives, are expected to increase efficiency in biopharmaceutical processing.”
About ZFN technology
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. Double-strand breaks are important for site-specific mutagenesis in that they stimulate the cell’s natural DNA-repair processes, namely homologous recombination and Non-Homologous End Joining (NHEJ). 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 (knock-outs), integrations (knock-ins), or modifications.
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