Sigma Life Science collaborates with The Jackson Laboratory for distribution of genetically engineered mice

Collaboration reportedly gives users of CompoZr ZFN technology a ‘world-class outlet’ for distribution of knockout mouse models to the scientific community

Jeffrey Bouley
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ST. LOUIS—Sigma Life Science, the biological products and services business of Sigma-Aldrich, and The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), a Bar Harbor, Maine-based not-for-profit genetics research institution, have announced a joint agreement allowing JAX to distribute mouse models created using Sigma Life Science's proprietary zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) technology.

The companies note that JAX is already "the world's premier repository for genetically engineered mice," but the ZFN technology reportedly allows transgenic mice to be made in a third of the time previously required.

This advance has led to a significant increase in the number of models being produced, the companies explain, "generating a need for key distributors to provide access to this new set of animals."

As the leader in mouse genetics, they say, JAX currently has more than 5,000 mouse models available to the scientific community. The new arrangement between Sigma and JAX is expected to extend the collection by enabling researchers to donate ZFN-enabled mouse models to JAX for archiving and distribution.
"Sigma recognizes the need for making certain animal models created with this great technology commercially available, enabling researchers to promote the science while protecting our intellectual property," says Dr. Edward Weinstein, director of SAGE Labs at Sigma Life Science. "This agreement helps to make that possible, exemplifying the Sigma Life Science message 'where bio begins' and building on the activities of our SAGE Labs division."
The parties say the deal will also help enable customers to focus more time and resources on their research, avoiding the burden of maintaining mouse colonies for the wider scientific community while still fulfilling government funding obligations, while it also "increases the scope of the powerful CompoZr technology for creation of knockout organisms, and complements the SAGE Labs collection of knockout rat models."
"This novel [ZFN] approach represents a quantum leap in genetic engineering and is expected to enable researchers to develop precise mouse models without the need of ES cells, and to advance the understanding of human disease and improve the human condition," notes  Dr. Michael V. Wiles, senior director of technology evaluation and development at The Jackson Laboratory.

Jeffrey Bouley

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