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Applied Biosystems and Idaho Technology enter into cross-licensing agreement
March 2010

SALT LAKE CITYŚApplied Biosystems LLC, part of Life Technologies Corp., and Idaho Technology Inc. announced in late January that they signed a cross-licensing agreement that covers a broad range of products, including hardware, software and reagents. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The agreement includes patents relating to real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods and instrumentation, including the 5' Nuclease process and the use of SYBR Green I in PCR reactions.

"This agreement demonstrates both companies' commitments to advancing quality research in the applied and life science fields. It also enables innovation in a more open environment that is good for business and ultimately benefits customers," said Randy Rasmussen, president of Idaho Technology, in a statement.

According to the companies, the intellectual property covered by this agreement has been instrumental in expanding applications in molecular biology and has been equally influential in each company's success as a leading provider of innovative solutions for DNA analysis.

Founded in 1990, privately held Idaho Technology licensed the rapid PCR technology from the University of Utah. Through funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense, the company has created many commercial instruments and reagents for use in research and applied fields. Several of these products, including the LightCycler Instrument, have been sublicensed to Roche Diagnostics. Researchers, medical technicians, law enforcement officers and soldiers in the field also use the company's devices to detect or study disease-causing organisms.

Applied Biosystems declined to comment on the deal. The company recently commercialized a new set of real-time PCR assays that enables researchers to detect and quantify expression levels of long non-coding RNA (ncRNA) transcripts in human, mouse and rat species. According to Applied Biosystems, the TaqMan Non-coding RNA Assays, a set of genomic tools for profiling long ncRNAs, will help researchers to gain a "systems" level understanding of cell biology and the regulatory networks underlying that biology.

Non-coding RNAs are RNA molecules that are transcribed from the genome but are not translated into proteins. Long ncRNAs are transcripts that are larger than 200 nucleotides, distinguishing them from small regulatory RNAs such as microRNAs. Previously considered "junk" or "dark matter" nucleic acids, these long ncRNA transcripts have now been implicated in a broad variety of cellular functions, including transcriptional regulation, RNA splicing, messenger RNA stability and translation, epigenetic regulation and assembly of macromolecular complexes. In addition, long ncRNAs have been shown to be involved in disease etiology.

The TaqMan Non-coding RNA Assays are designed using annotations from NCBI and the RNAdb, the most comprehensive non-coding RNA database. For microarray validation workflows, there are a number assays available for transcripts that are on Invitrogen NCode Noncoding RNA Arrays.



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