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New Sigma Advanced Genetic Engineering Labs Offers Research Community Unique Rodent Models Developed Using Exclusive Gene-Editing Technology
Date:8/21/2009

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sigma-Aldrich(R) (Nasdaq: SIAL) announced today that scientists at its new Sigma Advanced Genetic Engineering (SAGE(TM)) Labs in St. Louis will leverage its exclusive CompoZr(TM) Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN) gene editing technology (www.compozrzfn.com) to define, develop and offer a new generation of genetically-engineered rodent research models. Such models are commonly used to study disease states in humans and play a key role in the drug discovery process.

Employing methods used to generate the world's first rat with a targeted gene deletion, commonly referred to as a 'Knockout' as introduced in the July 24, 2009 issue of the Journal Science(R), "Knockout Rats via Embryo Microinjection of Zinc-Finger Nucleases", scientists at SAGE Labs will initially create Knockout rat models with focus in toxicology, neuroscience, cardiovascular and inflammatory disease, areas that would benefit most immediately from the promise represented by the availability of the Knockout Rat. Using this novel methodology, Knockout Rats and Mice can be generated in as little as four months, about one-third the time required to make a Knockout model using conventional Embryonic Stem Cell (ES cell) based approaches.

"The Knockout Rat is a long-awaited milestone in the scientific community, and we are pleased that Sigma innovation has played such a key role in its development. Applying our proprietary CompoZr ZFN technology in this very practical application has provided researchers with a powerful new tool to study human diseases. The potential applications using these rodent models of human disease could ultimately eliminate years of research time and save millions of lives," said Dr. Dave Smoller, President, Sigma Research Biotechnology.

For over a quarter century researchers have been trying to generate Knockout rats that closely mimic human diseases, a breakthrough now possible due to the gene-editing capabilities of ZFN technology, which is significant, as rats are highly characterized animals and physiologically similar to humans. Because their larger size makes them superior to mice in biological research applications, rats are ideal subjects for research into human diseases.

Sigma-Aldrich is the premiere resource for commercial zinc finger nucleases and markets its CompoZr ZFN products and services based on an exclusive partnership with Sangamo BioSciences. For more information on SAGE Labs or our gene-editing technologies, visit www.sigma.com/sagelabs.

About Sigma-Aldrich: Sigma-Aldrich is a leading Life Science and High Technology company. Its chemical and biochemical products and kits are used in scientific research, including genomic and proteomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development and as key components in pharmaceutical, diagnostic and other high technology manufacturing. The Company has customers in life science companies, university and government institutions, hospitals, and in industry. Over one million scientists and technologists use its products. Sigma-Aldrich operates in 38 countries and has 7,800 employees providing excellent service worldwide. Sigma-Aldrich is committed to Accelerating Customer Success through Innovation and Leadership in Life Science, High Technology and Service. For more information about Sigma-Aldrich, please visit its award-winning Web site at http://www.sigma-aldrich.com.

Cautionary Statement: This release contains forward-looking statements relating to future performance, goals, strategic actions and initiatives and similar intentions and beliefs and other statements regarding the Company's expectations, goals, beliefs, intentions and the like, which involve assumptions regarding the Company's operations and conditions in the markets the Company serves. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Sigma-Aldrich, Sigma, SAGE and CompoZr are trademarks of Sigma-Aldrich Biotechnology L.P. and Sigma-Aldrich Co.


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