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Sigma® Life Science Reaches Milestone in Gene Editing with Increased Affordability for CompoZr® ZFNs and the Expansion of Knockout ZFNs to Include Every Gene in Mice and Rats

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Sigma Life Science, the innovative biological products and services research business of Sigma-Aldrich® (Nasdaq: SIAL), today announced a major breakthrough in the development of its proprietary CompoZr zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) technology with the release of more Knockout ZFNs covering the entire genomes of both mice and rats, while the pricing of products within the CompoZr ZFN portfolio by half. A new dedicated high-throughput manufacturing center, together with advances in ZFN design algorithms and production processes, has led to cost reductions in the development and production for both CompoZr Custom and Knockout ZFNs. This has allowed Sigma Life Science to extend the range of its Knockout ZFNs and to make ZFN technology more affordable to the scientific community. For more information visit

The increased capacity of the new manufacturing facility allows Sigma Life Science to rapidly develop its CompoZr Knockout ZFN portfolio, bringing the advantages of this technology to many previously underserved research fields. The expansion of the Knockout ZFNs for every mouse and rat gene is in its initial phase, which complements the existing range of Knockout ZFNs for the entire human genome. This exciting milestone in genome editing can enable the scientific community to pursue previously unachievable research quickly and easily with validated tools, avoiding the cost, time and uncertainty associated with other techniques.

ZFN technology has been widely recognized as the most efficient and versatile method of genetic engineering for cell lines and whole organisms, offering precisely targeted, permanent and heritable modifications in a fraction of the time required using more traditional technologies. ZFNs have been broadly adopted within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors, but the high cost of designing and manufacturing CompoZr ZFNs has at times limited the research community's access to this technology. To address this issue, Sigma Life Science invested heavily in advancing both its design and production processes to drive down costs and in an effort to help researchers accelerate scientific discovery. The new development and manufacturing facility is expected to ensure affordable pricing for Sigma's complete range of CompoZr ZFN offerings and further extend the scope of this powerful genome editing technology.

David Smoller, Chief Scientific Officer at Sigma Life Science, commented, "Sigma Life Science has reached another milestone in our quest to provide the research community with greater access to ZFN technology. CompoZr ZFNs are now available in multiple formats, multiple species and at more accessible pricing. It is now our objective to continue to drive the development of new applications for CompoZr ZFNs, while maintaining this vital affordability."

Cautionary statement: The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by terminology such as "can enable," "expected," "our objective," or similar expressions, or by expressed or implied discussions regarding potential future revenues from products derived there from. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of management regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. There can be no guarantee that CompoZr ZFN Technology will assist the Company to achieve any particular levels of revenue in the future. In particular, management's expectations regarding products associated with that CompoZr ZFN Technology could be affected by, among other things, unexpected regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; the Company's ability to obtain or maintain patent or other proprietary intellectual property protection; competition in general; government, industry and general public pricing pressures; the impact that the foregoing factors could have on the values attributed to the Company's assets and liabilities as recorded in its consolidated balance sheet, and other risks and factors referred to in Sigma-Aldrich's current Form 10-K on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Sigma-Aldrich is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Sigma Life Science: Sigma Life Science is a Sigma-Aldrich business that represents the Company's leadership in innovative biological products and services for the global life science market and offers an array of biologically-rich products and reagents that researchers use in scientific investigation. Product areas include biomolecules, genomics and functional genomics, cells and cell-based assays, transgenics, protein assays, stem cell research, epigenetics and custom services/oligonucleotides. Sigma Life Science also provides an extensive range critical bioessentials like biochemicals, antibiotics, buffers, carbohydrates, enzymes, forensic tools, hematology and histology, nucleotides, amino acids and their derivatives, and cell culture media.

About Sigma-Aldrich: Sigma-Aldrich is a leading Life Science and High Technology company committed to Enabling Science to Improve the Quality of Life. 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 40 countries and has 8,300 employees providing excellent service worldwide. For more information about Sigma-Aldrich, please visit its award-winning Web site at

Sigma-Aldrich, Sigma and CompoZr are registered trademarks of Sigma-Aldrich Co. LLC.

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