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NADII to Use EraGen Technology in Genotyping System

NEW YORK, Nov 2 - EraGen Biosciences said Thursday it will provide its SNP detection technology to the Novartis Agricultural Discovery Institute (NADII) for incorporation into a plant genotyping system the institute is developing.

“The idea is that we will work together on a system and then in good faith we will work out licensing agreements,” said EraGen CSO James Prudent.

“They’re giving us money and we’re developing a technology with that money that we’ll be able to license,” he said.

Prudent declined to say how much money would be changing hands. 

EraGen’s technology uses DNA analogs not found in nature, called AEGIS bases (an expanded genetic information system) to construct highly specific recognition codes, known as “era codes.”

These artificial bases form four novel base pairs that don’t recognize nature’s bases, decreasing the number of false positives in SNP detection.

“We are working in a collaborative joint venture to work on putting era codes into a genotyping system for them,” said Prudent.

NADII is developing a genotyping system for use in molecular breeding analysis—to detect SNP variants in crops that could be associated with higher yields or greater resistance to pests or drought.

Prudent said that EraGen’s Era-Code technology can be used to build chip, bead, or any other surface-based genotyping system.

NADII, however, has not disclosed any details on the type of system it is developing.

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