Zygem acquires U.Va’s MicroLab Diagnostics

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Zygem Corp. Ltd. has acquired a University of Virginia biotech start-up that developed a technology to simplify DNA testing. MicroLab Diagnostics Inc. will continue operations in Charlottesville as a new business unit of the New Zealand-based company, which also has offices in California. 

Zygem specializes in DNA extraction and testing solutions. “Combining Zygem’s unique assays and reagents with MicroLab’s revolutionary microfluidic chips will enable us to greatly expand the utility of DNA detection for both existing and new applications,” Paul Kinnon, Zygem’s CEO, said in a statement.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company expects to release a commercial product based on the technology in 2011.

MicroLab was founded in 2003 on technology developed by U.Va.’s James P. Landers. a professor of chemistry in the College of Arts & Sciences.  It uses lab-on-a-chip technology to streamline the chemical processes involved in biochemical analysis, including DNA testing.” Our vision at MicroLab is to develop microfluidic chips capable of transforming DNA testing from a complex and costly process into one that is fast, flexible, affordable and widely accessible,” said Landers.

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