Dharmacon Launches SARS siARRAY Gene Set Against SARS

LAFAYETTE, Colo. -- Dharmacon, Inc., the leading global supplier of innovative RNA and RNA-interference (RNAi) research products, announced today that the company has launched SARS siARRAY Gene Set, a library of short interfering RNA (siRNA) duplexes targeted against multiple regions of the coronavirus that is believed to cause SARS. RNA-interference is a powerful new tool used by genetic researchers to knock down, or silence, specific genes in order to assess their function.

Use of Dharmacon's SARS siARRAY Gene Set enables researchers to study the lifecycle and pathogenicity of the virus and to potentially facilitate development of therapeutics and vaccines against SARS. Previous studies have demonstrated that siRNAs have the potential to serve as antivirals, preventing infection of pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis C viruses.

"As the technology and market leader in the RNA field, we are pleased to give scientists around the globe the opportunity to use a very powerful new functional genomic tool, RNAi, to target the SARS virus," said William S. Marshall, PhD, executive vice president of research and production at Dharmacon. "The SARS siARRAY Gene Set guarantees potent gene silencing and is priced to maximize its availability to a broad range of scientists seeking to unravel the molecular genetics of SARS pathogenesis. We are in the process of establishing collaborations with key SARS researchers to facilitate rapid advances in this area."

To develop the SARS siARRAY Gene Set, Dharmacon researchers used the Toronto SARS sequence, identifying 25 regions within the viral genome which carry the genetic information for key viral proteins that will be individually targeted with siRNA duplexes, including the 14 predicted open reading frames or ORFs. The researchers applied Dharmacon's proprietary SMARTselection algorithms to these sequences to design the siRNA duplexes most likely to be effective and used its SMARTpool methodology to group the top candidates, thereby developing highly functional and potent siRNA duplexes that are guaranteed to work. This eliminates the need for the time-consuming and costly trial and error testing traditionally required to identify highly functional siRNA reagents.

Dharmacon, Inc. is a leading provider of innovative RNA, RNA-interference (RNAi) research products and related technologies to the life sciences industry. Founded in 1995, Dharmacon discovered and commercialized 2'-ACE, a novel, highly productive chemical strategy for RNA synthesis. Using its core expertise in chemistry, biology, bioinformatics and production, Dharmacon has pioneered a custom siRNA design service that employs its proprietary SMARTselection and SMARTpool algorithms for maximizing the efficiency of gene silencing, a powerful and increasingly widely-used new technology based on small interfering RNA (siRNA).

Source: Dharmacon, Inc.

Web site: http://www.dharmacon.com/