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Biosearch Licenses Dye IP to DuPont Qualicon; Will Make Primers for DuPont's Food-Testing Platform

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Biosearch Technologies said yesterday that it has granted a license to its Black Hole Quencher, CAL Fluor, and Quasar patents to DuPont Qualicon.

In addition, Biosearch said that it will manufacture Scorpions primer oligonucleotides for DuPont for use in food safety diagnostics.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Biosearch CEO Marc Beal said in a statement that DuPont Qualicon's BAX food safety testing platform using BHQ Scorpions-based reagents will deliver "an innovative and exacting molecular diagnostic solution" when combined with Biosearch's manufacturing expertise.

DuPont's Qualicon business markets the BAX System for PCR-based detection of a variety of pathogens and other organisms in food, environmental samples, and other products.

DuPont already had a licensing deal in place for Scorpions probe technology from DxS (now Qiagen), for whom Novato, Calif.-based Biosearch had been manufacturing custom Scorpions primers for licensees of the technology since 2002.

In August, Biosearch expanded its license with Qiagen to allow it to manufacture, catalog, and sell Scorpions primer assays into the research, applied, and infectious disease testing markets; and to market labeled probes based on Biosearch's BHQ dyes for qPCR assays in all applied testing and in vitro diagnostic fields (PCR Insider, 8/12/10).

Now, under the agreement announced this week, it appears that the legal framework is in place to enable DuPont to use custom-made Scorpions probes with an array of fluorophores from Biosearch.

For DuPont, the Biosearch deal is the latest in a spate of agreements and collaborations designed to build out its BAX platform for food testing and potentially other applications.

In August, the company said that it had inked a licensing agreement with Idaho Technology for reagents or methods using SYBR Green I and post-PCR melting curve analysis technology. Around the same time, it announced a collaboration with the US Department of Agriculture to develop a PCR-based test for six strains of E. coli that have recently been increasingly implicated in food contamination and human illness (PCR Insider, 8/5/10).

DuPont has also licensed TaqMan technology from Life Technologies' Applied Biosystems business; and the latest generation of its platform, the BAX System Q7, was developed in collaboration and is sold under a license with Life Tech/Applied Biosystems.

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