Bayer's QuantiGene technology
Advances in cell-based assay design are inspiring new approaches for screening compounds during drug discovery. Bayer Corp.'s QuantiGene assay system is a cell-based assay for the direct quantitation of mRNA from lysed cells or whole tissue. The system uses branched DNA (bDNA) technology for signal amplification and is designed for a 96-well microplate format. In addition, Bayer provides ProbeDesigner software for designing oligonucleotide probes used in the assays. According to product manager Stephen Chamberlain, the technology behind the QuantiGene system offers significant advantages over traditional target amplification-based assays: "Cells are lysed directly in the assay, the released messenger RNA is captured, and the signal associated with representative amounts of RNA is amplified and directly read via luminescence. No isolation of mRNA is required." The time needed to prepare and run an assay for a particular target mRNA is thus greatly reduced. The assay has high sensitivity...

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