ZyGEM and New Zealand's ESR Continue Collaboration to Expand forensicGEM(TM) Family of DNA Extraction Kits

SOLANA BEACH, Calif. and HAMILTON, New Zealand, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- ZyGEM Corp Ltd., a leading provider of advanced enzymatic tools for life sciences applications, and New Zealand's Institute of Environmental Scientific and Research (ESR), today announced that they are continuing their ongoing collaboration that has already produced a range of innovative DNA extraction kits for forensic applications. The collaboration is leveraging the distinctive capabilities of these two New Zealand innovators to accelerate the development of additional forensicGEM(TM) kits for flexible, fast, accurate and low-cost DNA extraction.

The forensicGEM(TM) family of kits uses a proprietary enzyme to extract DNA from samples using a single closed-tube system. The forensicGEM(TM) approach simplifies laboratory workflow, minimizes error, reduces the risk of contamination and ensures sample integrity while also reducing costs. The kits are easy to automate for high-throughput applications using off-the-shelf robotic systems. They have been specifically formulated for DNA extraction from a range of different crime sample types without the need for further purification. forensicGEM(TM) kits provide PCR-ready, forensic grade DNA for 96 samples in just 20 minutes with no hands-on attention required. With forensicGEM(TM), researchers can prepare samples up to three times faster than with existing products and at a lower cost.

"The simplicity and flexibility of the closed-tube approach provides many benefits to users, including protection from sample contamination, while the specially-designed formats facilitate DNA extraction from a variety of crime sample types. We look forward to continuing this collaboration intended to provide forensic scientists with better options for managing the critical task of DNA extraction," says ESR's Forensic Programme Manager, Dr Jill Vintiner.

forensicGEM(TM) kit formats based on ZyGEM's unique thermophilic enzymes have been optimised and validated by the researchers at ESR who have provided benchmark quality control standards for forensicGEM(TM) reagents. All reagents are rigorously quality controlled to test for efficacy and for the absence of human DNA.

"This mutually beneficial collaboration between ZyGEM and ESR is producing a growing range of validated forensicGEM(TM) kits that represent a completely novel approach to DNA extraction," said Paul Kinnon, CEO of ZyGEM. "We look forward to continuing this very productive relationship, whose success also provides a model we intend to follow as we establish additional collaborations and partnerships for our enzyme-based life sciences business."

ESR's CEO, Dr. John Hay, says that as a government-owned, science-focused business within New Zealand's Crown Research Institutes, the commercial partnership with ZyGEM is an important one. "With our unique mix of research and development and operational delivery, ESR can play a very important role in the continuing commercialisation process for this product, which has international potential.

Currently available kits include forensicGEM(TM) Blood, forensicGEM(TM) Saliva, forensicGEM(TM) Tissue, forensicGEM(TM) Storage Card Saliva, forensicGEM(TM) Storage Card Blood and forensicGEM(TM) Cigarette. Additional formats are in development.

For more information on the forensicGEM(TM) family of kits, visit http://zygem.products.php or email [email protected]

About ESR

ESR is the sole provider of forensic services to the New Zealand Police and custodian and manager of the National Criminal DNA databank. It is internationally recognised as a leader in forensic DNA services and research for the justice sector. ESR provides criminal DNA databank systems and expertise to overseas jurisdictions particularly in the Asia-Pacific.

About ZyGEM

ZyGEM Corporation Limited is a rapidly growing biotechnology company with a range of innovative enzyme-based products and technologies based on the company's exclusive collection of microorganisms from extreme environments. ZyGEM's technology has significant competitive advantages over existing methods and has potential applications in a number of sizeable global markets. ZyGEM currently produces DNA extraction and detection products, molecular biology enzymes and individual enzymes and diagnostics, serving life sciences customers in basic research, forensics, clinical diagnostics and agriculture. ZyGEM has facilities in New Zealand and the U.S. For more information, visit www.ZyGEM.com.

SOURCE ZyGEM Corporation Limited