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Enzo enters life sciences market
FARMINGDALE, N.Y.In late May, Enzo Life Sciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of Enzo Biochem, launched a new DNA labeling system aimed at array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH), a technique that detects alterations in the genome leading to changes in DNA copy number. Such technology is becoming increasingly important for the identification and characterization of chromosomal aberrations such as deletions, duplications and amplifications that underlie cancer and developmental abnormalities.
Microarrays traditionally have been used to measure gene expression or identify mutations using RNA and DNA samples labeled with a signaling moiety, but aCGH is a specific emerging area of microarray technology designed to measure the amount of DNA at a specific region of the chromosome, Enzo has reported.
"This is our first product," says David C. Goldberg, general manager of Enzo Life Science and, until that recent promotion, a vice president at Enzo Biochem. "People have been doing array CGH for a few years now, but a lot of it has been home brew, and what we're doing is selling a complete kit with all the reagents and labels. So, people won't have to buy nucleotide labels from someone else and do the controls and standardization, and they won't have to send samples to us they can do it all in their own labs."
"The introduction of the aCGH Labeling System is an extension of a theme of the Life Sciences Division," says Jim Chinitz, Enzo's vice president of business development. "Our experience indicates that the success of any microarray platform requires standardization of sample preparation, labeling and detection. This aCGH technology fits in with Enzo's genomic product portfolio, where marketing and sales efforts for our BioArray labeling systems can address virtually any type of microarray."
Initial marketing efforts are focused on users of arrays manufactured using bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs), which reportedly have proven very effective in defining the location of regional copy number changes.
"I have performed a careful analysis of BAC arrays run with samples prepared with Enzo's new labeling system," says Dr. Eli Hatchwell at Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) Labs Genome Research Center. "The data from samples whose chromosomal changes had been previously characterized yielded the expected results with clarity. In one specific instance, the high quality of the data also shed light on a chromosomal change that was not previously known, which has sparked my interest."
BAC is just one way of doing arrays, Goldberg acknowledges. Oligo-type arrays are another option that facilities use and Enzo will adjust that market as well, he says.
"Our kit so far has been optimized for BACs," Goldberg adds, "but we actually indicate in the protocols, based on what we did in beta testing, that it can be used for oligo arrays as well."