Rubicon Genomics, a developer of pre-analytical amplification products enabling genetic analysis of clinical and research samples, has reached an agreement with ZyGEM, wherein the latter will market Rubicon's PicoPlex single-cell amplification kits in Australia and New Zealand.

The company said that with PicoPlex technology, the same amount of genomic data for analysis can be obtained from a single human cell or from 10,000 cells, with minimal background. In a simple three-step, three-hour process, single cells can be lysed and the DNA is amplified one million-fold. The amplified DNA can be analyzed using qPCR, microarrays and sequencing instruments for either research or diagnostic applications.

PicoPlex method for amplifying single cells for pre-implantation genetic diagnostics and screening (PGD/PGS) of human embryos, is expected to displace current technologies for amplifying genomic DNA from circulating tumor cells, tumor tissue, stem cells and forensic samples. The PicoPlex technology is one of a series of new amplification technologies being introduced into the nucleic acid testing market by Rubicon Genomics.

The new agreement follows a 2009 agreement to incorporate ZyGEM’s enzymatic nucleic acid extraction technology into Rubicon’s pre-analytical platform products, designed to improve the performance of DNA and RNA analytical instruments.

James Koziarz, president and CEO of Rubicon Genomics, said: “This agreement with ZyGEM represents another major step in the adoption of Rubicon’s pre-analytical amplification kits in the global marketplace. Rubicon’s technology is capable of performing rapid amplification of nucleic acids from a wide variety of sample types easily and with excellent fidelity.”

Paul Kinnon, CEO of ZyGEM, said: “Since its introduction in July of 2009, interest in PicoPlex kits in the research and commercial markets has been strong. The PicoPlex technology nicely complements ZyGEM’s advanced DNA extraction products and we are looking forward in bringing this cutting-edge technology to the markets we serve in Australia and New Zealand.”