Zeptosens and ViaLogy Announce Microarray Study Results - New Technology

Zeptosens AG and ViaLogy Corp. today announced the results from an extensive, blinded study using Zeptosens' planar waveguide (PWG) based microarray technology and Vialogy's Quantum Resonance Interferometry (QRI) signal processing software, that demonstrated results far exceeding anything published on commercial microarray systems currently available.

ViaLogy's QRI software was combined with Zeptosens' high-performance, high sensitivity PWG based SensiChip™ microarray system, and state-of-the-art technology for mRNA extraction, purification and labeling, in a study which the companies plan to publish in a peer reviewed journal. The study documents 50 fold improvement in limit of quantitation and 10 fold reduction in data variance starting from the already highly sensitive SensiChip™ system.

A limit of quantitation of 10 ng total RNA and below - equivalent to RNA from about 1000 cells - comes into reach without target or signal amplification. Reproducibility at this sensitivity enables direct and thus unbiased use of DNA SensiChips for studies on 96 and 384 micro-titer plate cell-cultures, fine needle tissue biopsies, and specimens prepared by laser dissection - industry standard sample preparation and sampling technologies. This boost in performance opens the door for rapid and quantitative screening for drug targets and biomarkers in micro cell-cultures as well as for amplification-free analysis of micro-sections of cancer tissues and micro cell suspensions.

The SensiChip™ Microarray platform has been commercially available since 2002 and ViaLogy will offer its ViaLogy® Microarray Analysis Service (VMAxS)™ on-line starting mid-January, 2004. Combining these two technologies with state-of-the-art nucleic acid separation, purification and handling technologies forms an integrated, ultra-sensitive SensiChip™ microarray platform enabling the monitoring of gene expression patterns at very low concentrations without the need of enzymatic amplification steps. As a consequence, reagent costs, labor, time, as well as information distortion often associated with such processes, can be significantly reduced and higher throughput achieved.

Markus Ehrat, CEO of Zeptosens' commented, "This study demonstrates that the SensiChip™ system is a sensitive and robust method to monitor gene expression starting from total RNA contained in only about 1000 cells. The combination of excellent technologies made it possible to extend our current limit of quantitation by a factor of 50. We are looking forward to moving into new, exciting applications with these enabling technologies."

"We are pleased with the outstanding results achieved within this collaboration with Zeptosens" said Doug Lane, ViaLogy's CEO. "Since the lower limit of detection was not reached in this study, we realize we can extend the performance further. We look forward to making VMAxS available as a user-driven, on-line tool for the bioscience community."

Posted 16th December 2003

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