QIAGEN and the JCSG Announce Agreement for Commercialization of Sample Technologies for Protein Crystallography
QIAGEN will supply proven, ready-to-use screening sets to determine protein structures
VENLO, The Netherlands / SAN DIEGO, CA, July 20, 2007 - QIAGEN N.V., the leading provider of sample and assay technologies for research in life sciences, molecular diagnostics and applied testing, today announced that it has entered a strategic agreement with the Joint Center for Structural Genomics (JCSG), one of the 4 PSI Structural Genomics Production Centers, providing protein crystallographers with a new set of proven crystallization screens that have been assembled from analysis of hundreds of thousands of crystallization experiments.
Protein crystallography is a complex process used to determine the three-dimensional structure of proteins. By elucidating the structure of proteins, scientists can discover new drugs that more effectively target disease. To generate crystals, protein samples undergo a crystallization screening step, in which protein samples are combined in multiple reactions with different chemical solutions.
This set of 384 conditions - split into four screens of 96 unique conditions - was previously provided by QIAGEN as a customized product and will be supplied to the wider market as The JCSG Core Suites I-IV. The new screens are the result of analyzing over 500,000 high-throughput crystallization experiments performed at the JCSG. The 384 crystallization conditions that provided the highest hit rates in initial screening were chosen to form the screens [Lesley SA, Wilson IA. "Protein production and crystallization at the Joint Center for Structural Genomics." J. Struct. Funct. Genom., 6: 71-79 (2005)].
"Improving initial sample preparation screens for crystallization is a continuous effort of the crystallographic community", said Kai te Kaat, Global Business Director Proteins at QIAGEN. "These new screens are the result of mining the vast database of crystallization experiments performed by the JCSG. We are proud to have been selected by the JCSG as their partner to commercialize these screens to the entire crystallographic community in QIAGEN's proprietary sample technology formats."
The JCSG has chosen QIAGEN as their main supplier of crystallization screens for its proven quality and customer orientation in the development process. "I am delighted that QIAGEN markets these JCSG screens", said Professor Ian Wilson, Principal Investigator of the JCSG. "It enables the fruits of the NIH Protein Structure Initiative to become available to all structure biologists and allow them the opportunity to enhance their own individual success rates in protein crystallization."
QIAGEN entered the market for sample preparation of proteins for crystallization in 2005. The objective behind all QIAGEN sample technologies for protein crystallization is to help reduce the time required for sample preparation to produce crystals and determine structures. The comprehensive product line aims to simplify and standardize sample preparation for protein crystallization using unique, ready-to-use kits that provide scientists with fast and easy experimental setups in manual and automatable formats. With the world's largest offering of protein crystallization screening conditions available in a wide range of formats - from highly innovative sample technologies for crystallization that make setup and screening easy and convenient to bulk formats for higher throughputs - QIAGEN products deliver unparalleled quality, convenience, and flexibility for sample preparation in protein crystallization. The precise chemical composition of every solution is recorded in a detailed production report that can be downloaded from the QIAGEN website, ensuring maximum reproducibility.
About Protein Crystallography
The human body contains around a million different proteins with essential roles in maintaining life. To learn how proteins function, scientists must understand a protein's structure. One way to achieve this is by x-ray crystallography, for which the protein must first be crystallized. Because there are no empirical rules governing which conditions individual proteins will crystallize, the complex process of preparing samples to obtain diffraction quality crystals requires screening of a large amount of conditions and can take from several weeks to several years. Once crystals are obtained, precise measurements of thousands of diffraction intensities from each crystal help scientists map the probable positions of the atoms within each protein molecule, and ultimately derive a 3D structure. With an improved understanding of the molecular structure and interactions of proteins, scientists are able to develop new drugs and treatments that target specific human, animal, and plant diseases.
About the Joint Center of Structural Genomics Consortium (JCSG)
The JCSG is funded by the National Institute for General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), as part of the Protein Structure Initiative (PSI) of the National Institutes of Health. Its initial mission was "to establish a robust and scalable protein structure determination pipeline that will form the foundation for a large-scale effective production center for structural genomics". A number of institutes make up the JCSG consortium, with major centers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI); the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF); The University of California San Diego (UCSD); The Burnham Institute for Medical Research (Burnham); and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) at Stanford University. As part of the PSI program, North America's largest fully integrated crystallization platform has been established at TSRI using liquid handling and visualization instruments from Rigaku Automation (previously RoboDesign) with substantial support from IAVI (International AIDS Vaccine Initiative) and TSRI. More information can be obtained at http://www.jcsg.org/ .
QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands holding company is the leading provider of innovative sample and assay technologies and products. QIAGEN's products are considered standards in areas such pre-analytical sample preparation and assay solutions in research for life sciences, applied testing and molecular diagnostics. QIAGEN has developed a comprehensive portfolio of more than 500 proprietary, consumable products and automated solutions for sample collection, nucleic acid and protein handling, separation, and purification and open and target specific assays. The company's products are sold to academic research markets, to leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, to applied testing customers (such as in forensics, veterinary, biodefense and industrial applications) as well as to molecular diagnostics laboratories. QIAGEN employs more than 2000 people worldwide. QIAGEN products are sold through a dedicated sales force and a global network of distributors in more than 40 countries. Further information about QIAGEN can be found at http://www.qiagen.com/
Dr. Thomas Theuringer