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Commonwealth Biotechnologies Presents Data at Forensic Sciences Meeting Confirming Benefits of ZyGEM's DNA Extraction Technology

- Data from Collaboration Applying forensicgem(TM) Technology to CBI's DNA Forensic Operations Presented at American Academy of Forensic Sciences Annual Meeting -

- Shows ZyGEM's forensicGEM(TM) DNA Extraction Kits Increase DNA Yield, Simplify Workflow and Minimize Potential for Contamination and Error -

SOLANA BEACH, Calif., HAMILTON, New Zealand, and RICHMOND, Va., March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- ZyGEM Corp. Ltd. today reported that researchers from Commonwealth Biotechnologies, Inc. (CBI) presented positive data on ZyGEM's forensicGEM(TM) DNA extraction technology at the 2009 American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Annual Meeting. The data show that forensicGEM(TM) DNA extraction kits provide important benefits, including significantly improved DNA yield from a variety of blood samples and buccal cell suspensions. Compared to other DNA extraction methods, forensicGEM(TM) kits yielded up to six times more DNA per sample than other commonly used methods.

ZyGEM's forensicGEM(TM) family of kits uses a proprietary enzyme to extract DNA from samples using a single closed-tube system. Researchers at CBI's Fairfax Identity Laboratories (FIL) DNA reference operations are collaborating with ZyGEM to further evaluate the kits and to help develop additional products for the forensic DNA market. A leader in the research, development and use of advanced forensic procedures, CBI's FIL analyzes over 50,000 forensic samples each year.

"The results we presented at the AAFS meeting show that the single closed-tube system used by ZyGEM's forensicGEM(TM) kits offers certain improvements and efficiencies compared to other DNA extraction methods," said Charles M. Kelly, Ph.D., Director of FIL and lead author of the AAFS study. "We were able to produce PCR-ready DNA in just over 30 minutes with excellent reproducibility. forensicGEM(TM)'s gentle extraction method does not appear to damage DNA and the closed-tube system minimizes the risk of contamination. These kits can be specially designed to be compatible with common STR genotyping profiling kits and forensic genotyping methods. The ability to accurately and easily extract high quality DNA by a cost-effective method is especially critical for our operations at FIL."

"Data presented by CBI scientists at this important meeting show that our DNA extraction products improve DNA yield while also simplifying laboratory workflow and minimizing the potential for error and contamination," said Paul Kinnon, CEO of ZyGEM. "CBI researchers have found that our forensicGEM(TM) approach is automatable using most liquid handling equipment, is easily adaptable to standard laboratory equipment, enables very high throughput using robotic processing and improves reproducibility of results."

The forensicGEM(TM) approach uses ZyGEM's proprietary enzyme and a single closed-tube system to simplify laboratory workflow, minimize error, reduce the risk of contamination and ensure 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. With forensicGEM(TM), researchers can prepare samples up to three times faster than with existing products and at a lower cost.

The AAFS poster, "Use of a Novel Enzyme to Prepare Samples for Forensic Analysis," was prepared by CBI and ZyGEM researchers and presented at the American Academy of Forensic Science's Annual Meeting on March 19, 2009. For more information, visit

About ZyGEM Corporation

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.A. For more information, visit

About Commonwealth Biotechnologies, Inc.

CBI offers cutting-edge research and development products and services to the global life sciences industry. CBI now operates through: (1) CBI Services, a discovery phase contract research organization; (2) Fairfax Identity Laboratories, a DNA reference business; (3) Mimotopes Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Australia, a peptide and discovery chemistry business; and (4) Venturepharm (Asia), Shanghai and Beijing, China, a contract research joint venture specializing in drug discovery and development, process scale-up, formulation development, cGMP manufacturing and clinical trial management. For more information, visit CBI on the web at

    ZyGEM                                        Commonwealth Biotechnologies
    Corporate:            Media:                 Corporate/Media:
    Paul Kinnon           Barbara Lindheim       Thomas Reynolds
    President and CEO     BioCom Partners        EVP Science & Technology
    858 720-8333          212 918-4650           804 648-3820

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