February 12, 2007
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Contact: Jerry Carey
Phone: (856) 566-6171
DNA Security Company Acquires Rights to Technology Developed at UMDNJ
NEWARK — PHRI Properties, Inc., a non-profit corporation wholly owned by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, has entered into a licensing agreement with Applied DNA Sciences, Inc., a DNA security solutions company, for the rights to molecular beacons technology developed by UMDNJ researchers Drs. Sanjay Tyagi and Fred Russell Kramer at the PHRI Center. The technology developed by PHRI includes five current patents and several others that are pending in the United States, Europe, Japan, Canada and Australia.
The specific technology in this agreement involves the use of fluorescently labeled probes to detect unique markers that have been placed within the microscopic cellular structure of particular products. These molecular beacons provide an instant on-site authentication test that can detect the unique markers that have been included in the manufacturing process of an array of products, including but not limited to ink, threads and adhesives, to help guard against counterfeit goods and products.
"Short, synthetic DNA molecules, whose four types of nucleotides occur in a predetermined order, serve as unique 'bar codes' that identify genuine products,” Dr. Kramer said. “These synthetic DNA molecules are mixed with many different DNA molecules whose nucleotides occur in a random order, cloaking the identity of the marker DNA. Molecular beacons are then added to this mixture, seeking out and binding to the marker DNA, producing a brightly colored fluorescent signal if the marker DNA is present. If the marker DNA is absent, the molecular beacons remain dark, indicating that the product is counterfeit."
Counterfeiting is a growing problem throughout the world. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that pharmaceutical companies alone lose $32 billion annually to counterfeiting of their products. The discovery of new methods to identify counterfeit products could provide a significant economic boost for companies seeking to protect their products and technologies from unauthorized copying.
“This is a great example of how inventions and discoveries made by UMDNJ researchers
can evolve from intellectual to commercial property that has real, marketable value,” said Vince Smeraglia, director of Patents and Licensing at UMDNJ. “The past year has seen
a significant increase in the patenting and technology transfer activities between UMDNJ and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Agreements such as this provide not only additional revenue streams that can translate into expanded research at UMDNJ, but also opportunities for job growth in our state.”
For more information, please contact Jerry Carey, UMDNJ News Service at (856) 566-6171, or at (973) 972-3000.
Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. provides botanical DNA encryption, embedment and authentication solutions that can help protect companies, governments and consumers
from counterfeiting, fraud, piracy, product diversion, identity theft and unauthorized
intrusion into physical locations and databases.
PHRI, an independent, not-for-profit research organization, was founded in 1941 in New York City. PHRI moved to Newark in 2002 to join the International Center for Public Health, an infectious disease consortium comprised of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, the Global TB Institute at the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, and the UMDNJ-School of Public Health. In December 2006, PHRI was officially incorporated into the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School.
UMDNJ is the nation's largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health, on five campuses. Last year, there were more than two million patient visits to UMDNJ facilities at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden
and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and addiction services network.