Sigma-Aldrich Signs License Agreement With Polyplus-transfection® to Offer Novel ZNA(TM) Oligonucleotides

Commercialization of ZNA™ technology provides for increased affinity for nucleic acids

St. Louis, MO, USA, Nov. 03, 2009/PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ — Sigma-Aldrich (NASDAQ: SIAL) today announced a worldwide licensing agreement with Polyplus-transfection® (Strasbourg, France) to manufacture and commercialize Zip Nucleic Acid (ZNA™*) oligonucleotides, a new technology that provides solutions for increased affinity for nucleic acids. Under the terms of the license, Sigma-Aldrich has rights to manufacture and commercialize ZNA oligonucleotides for all research applications. Sigma-Aldrich is the first company to offer ZNA™ as custom DNA and RNA oligonucleotides to the life science community.

ZNA™ are oligonucleotides with attached cationic units. They offer significant value for a variety of applications in research and diagnostics applications. Research applications include PCR probes, PCR primers, in-vitro micro RNA detection and inhibition and siRNA. The addition of cationic residues to oligonuleotides increases their sensitivity and their ability to detect mutations, while remaining both easy to design and cost effective. ZNA also offers an increased affinity for nucleic acids without losing selectivity, improving performance in hybridization techniques.
“Sigma offers the largest portfolio of modifications and labels for oligonucleotides. We consider ZNA™ an important addition to our portfolio. The increased performances seen for ZNA™ oligonucleotides offer advantages for our customers and we look forward to making this technology available to our global customer base, “commented Theresa S. Creasey, Ph.D., Vice President of Sigma(R) Custom Products, Sigma-Aldrich.
Frédéric Perraud, CEO of Polyplus-transfection, added: “We are very proud to collaborate with a leading life science company such as Sigma-Aldrich. This major agreement gives access to our ZNA™ technology to scientists worldwide and allows Polyplus to capitalize on its nucleic acid delivery research towards innovative applications in molecular biology.”

About ZNA™

ZNA™ (Zip Nucleic Acids) are oligocation-oligonucleotide conjugates that have an increased affinity for their complementary sequence without losing selectivity. This affinity increase is due to the cationic moieties, which reduces the charge repulsion between the two strands of nucleic acid. Thanks to the non-directive nature of electrostatic interactions, this affinity gain is independent of the base sequence and hence predictable, thus making the design of ZNA extremely easy. ZNA are made with a standard oligonucleotide synthesizer allowing fast, cost effective production as well as the ability to add other modifications such as fluorescent markers.

About Sigma-Aldrich

Sigma-Aldrich is a leading Life Science and High Technolgy company. Its biochemical and organic chemical products and kits are used in scientific and genomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development, the diagnosis of desease and as key components in pharmaceutical and other high technology manufacturing. Sigma-Aldrich has customers in Life Science companies, university and government institutions, hospitals, and in industry. Over one million scientists and technologists use its products. Sigma-Aldrich operates in 37 countries and has 8,000 employees providing excellent service worldwide. Sigma-Aldrich is commited to Accelerating Customer Success through Innovation and Leadership in Life Science, High Technology and Service.

About Polyplus-transfection®

Polyplus-transfection® is a research-focused company developing and marketing innovative solutions for transfection and therapies based on nucleic acid delivery. Based in Strasbourg, France, the company has been selling its transfection reagents since 2001. The multidisciplinary Polyplus R&D team includes chemists, molecular and cellular biologists. Polyplus-transfection has extended its field of expertise to molecular biology reagents with the development of ZNA™ oligonucleotides. The company has numerous patents pending and licenses in the fields of nucleic acid delivery and modified oligonucleotides.


This release contains forward-looking statements relating to future strategic actions and initiatives and similar intentions and beliefs and other statements regarding the Companies’ expectations, beliefs, intentions and the like, which involve assumptions regarding the Companies’ operations and conditions in the markets the Companies serve. The Companies do not undertake any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Sigma-Aldrich and Sigma are trademarks of Sigma-Aldrich Biotechnology L.P. and Sigma-Aldrich Co.
ZNA™ is a trademark of Polyplus-transfection®.
SOURCE Sigma-Aldrich
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Polyplus-transfection – Sigma (English version)

Polyplus-transfection – Sigma (French version)