TransCytos, Enginasion collaborate to develop new transfection technology

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Enginasion and TransCytos announced today that their collaboration has resulted in a prototype 'transfection' technology that is designed to have a dramatic and positive impact on the drug-research industry.

Enginasion's product development partner, TransCytos, is developing a novel transfection instrument, Cytofector R1™, based on a breakthrough, patent-pending hydrodynamic transfection technology. "Transfection," the introduction of genetic material into living cells, is a fundamental and essential genetic engineering process in biomedical research, and drug and gene therapy development. It has revolutionized, worldwide, biotech and pharmaceutical R&D, including the research into such diseases as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, substance abuse, neurological disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, and also has applications in the study of anxiety, aging, and pain management. Furthermore, transfection is key in the production of recombinant human proteins such as insulin, hormones, antibiotics, and vaccines.

Frost & Sullivan estimates the 2010 transfection market at $350 million, with about 200 million transfections conducted per year. However, existing transfection technologies are limited to a small number of particular cell types — just five cell lines make up as much as 50% of the market; in addition, low efficiency and cell viability, as well as very slow cell recovery, are slowing progress.

"Because the new TransCytos transfection technology is gentle, highly effective, and does not physically damage cells, it is potentially capable of transfecting all cell types," says Dr. Otto Prohaska, CEO of TransCytos. "Current transfection techniques represent a considerable bottleneck for biomedical and pharma R&D due to low efficiency, high variability, cellular toxicity, and the inability to introduce genetic material into many of the most important cell types relevant to major diseases. The majority of cells are hard or impossible to transfect, requiring lengthy, expensive procedures with low yield and poor reproducibility. Field testing of the Cytofector R1 prototype instrument showed (a) transfection of previously non-transfectable cells (e.g. neurons), and (b) better transfection efficiencies and expression of gene products in a shorter period of time, and at lower cost."

"The TransCytos transfection process could contribute to a faster and more dependable path to drug discovery, a higher success rate for biotech and pharma, and better cures," added David Bonneau, CEO of Enginasion. "The capability of transfecting primary cells effectively is expected to revolutionize progress in research, and especially in drug discovery, development, and production. Enginasion is very proud to be the product-development partner of TransCytos."

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Enginasion

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