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DuPont, OligoCo to Develop Oligonucleotide Synthesizer

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – DuPont and OligoCo today announced a deal for the development of a next-generation oligonucleotide synthesizer.

Under the deal, DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred will work with OligoCo to develop the platform. Pioneer will combine the new technology with its proprietary gene shuffling technology and other synthetic biology tools to improve the throughput and rate of success in early discovery research.

The cost and quality of oligonucleotides produced by current synthesizers vary significantly, limiting the adoption of synthetic biology techniques, DuPont and OligoCo said in a joint statement.

"In combination with our other collaborators, our goal is to introduce a novel synthesis platform that provides high throughput, low error rates and low cost, all of which are important enablers for synthetic biology," John Richards, president of OligoCo, said.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Based in Bothell, Wash., OligoCo was formerly called Blue Heron Biotechnology. In 2010 it sold its gene synthesis assets to Origene Technologies, and with its oligo technology became OligoCo, according to its website.

Pioneer, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, develops and supplies advanced plant genetics support and services.

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