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Resonance Light Scattering Technology Deals Resonate Throughout Microarray Sector


  Genicon Sciences’ Resonance Light Scattering (RLS) labeling technology has been the focal point of two new array-sector partnerships in recent days, furthering the company’s strategy of commercializing RLS through multiple collaborations.

Imaging Research, a St. Catherine’s, Ontario subsidiary of Amersham Pharmacia Biotech, has signed a software licensing, promotion, and distribution agreement with Genicon, of San Diego, that will marry Imaging’s ArrayVision analysis software package with RLS “to provide a complete research and analysis tool kit” for researchers doing spotted arrays.

Qiagen, which licenses RLS from Genicon, has also completed an agreement to combine RLS with Kreatech Biotechnology’s Universal Labeling System (ULS) labeling technologies into a molecular labeling package.

RLS technology involves tiny light scattering particles that preferentially refract certain wavelengths of light. These particles work like chemiluminescent or fluorescent proteins used in chemical labels, but emit a signal that is up to a million times stronger than a fluorescent particle, Genicon said. Different light scattering particles can be designed to emit specific colors of light.

The Imaging Research-Genicon deal will take advantage of RLS’ potential to produce clearer, crisper array images than traditional fluorescent dyes do. “The high-quality RLS array images, when analyzed by ArrayVision software, yield more meaningful data and longer-lasting results.” David Burns, chief operating officer of Imaging Research, said in a statement.

The parties did not disclose financial details of their agreement, but under its general terms, Genicon will promote and commercialize Imaging’s ArrayVision product with its own RLS technology. The agreement also allows for the ArrayVision software to be customized for additional RLS applications, and grants Genicon the option to promote ArrayStat, Imaging Research’s other informatics product.

Meanwhile, Qiagen, of Venlo, Netherlands, said it would combine RLS with Kreatech’s ULS, which enables detection tags such as RLS to be attached to purified nucleic acids or other molecules. This RLS-ULS package would provide a complete labeling system for researchers, according to Qiagen.

In this agreement with Kreatech, of Amsterdam, Qiagen also obtained the right to develop and sell ULS products for labeling and detecting nucleic acids and proteins in microarray experiments.

“We are excited about the benefits that the combination of Kreatech’s exciting labeling technologies with Qiagen’s nucleic acid handling, separation and purification technologies can bring to our customers,” stated Ulrich Schriek, Qiagen’s vice president for corporate business development. “

The company also said that it would work with Kreatech to develop new applications and specialized products.

These new marketing packages for RLS add to a growing list of applications for RLS.

Genicon currently has partnerships with Incyte to develop antibody arrays using RLS, Pall Corporation to develop membrane assays, and Ventana Medical Systems to create an integrated genomic discovery system. The genomic discovery system, which Genicon and Ventana plan to introduce by the end of this year, automatically hybridizes samples onto an array then uses RLS to detect gene expression differences, a method Genicon claims is more sensitive than fluorescent detection technologies.