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Gendaq Completes Zinc Finger Gene Switch Platform

NEW YORK, March 9 - Gendaq has completed its robotic engineering platform for zinc finger gene switches, which allow researchers to express or knockout individual genes, the company said Friday. 

"We use proprietary selection systems that allow the engineering of high quality zinc finger proteins and we are pleased to announce that we have successfully configured these to a multi-parallel high throughput platform," said Yen Choo, Gendaq's research director in a statement.

Gendaq, based in London, is an offshoot of the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology, in Cambridge, UK.  The company has been assigned the intellectual property for the lab's zinc finger technology. With 7.5 million pounds ($11 million) in private financing, Gendaq is attempting to commercialize this technology as the Z-switch, a product that allows any gene in a eukaryotic cell to be up- or down-regulated. 

In February, Gendaq published two papers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences describing the science behind its technology. T he two papers outline new methods of constructing improved zinc finger protein multimers, biomolecules that bind to DNA sequences with high specificity. Gendaq uses these multimers to make Z-switches.

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