April 2, 2002

DNA Software Receives NIH SBIR Phase I Grant to Develop Advanced, High-throughput PCR Design Software

Ann Arbor, Mich. – April 2, 2002 — The National Institute of Health (NIH) has awarded DNA Software a Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) Phase I Grant to enhance its existing Oligonucleotide Modeling Platform™ (OMP™) to enable automated high-throughput design of PCR (polymerase chain reaction) primers for amplification of a single target and a simplified multiplex format. The developed software will include the ability to optimize reaction conditions in silico and utilize a rigorous equilibrium model for hybridization which will be used to predict the product distribution after each step of PCR.

“This is the company’s first federally funded grant,” according to Mark Kielb, company president, “and we are very excited at the opportunity to apply our detailed knowledge of DNA thermodynamics to the next generation of PCR assays.”

According to Svetlana Morosyuk, DNA Software senior scientist and the grant’s principal investigator, “Single target PCR is very robust and works about 95% of the time. However, reliability drops for more difficult PCR reactions, such as the multiplex format, difficult templates, and high-throughput applications.” DNA Software outlined three specific aims for the grant:

  • Develop a graphical user interface specific for PCR design including
  • Extend the functionality of OMP for single target and multiplex PCR primer design.
  • Perform validation experiments for OMP™ predictions.

The company expects to complete work on Phase I by the end of the summer 2002.

About DNA Software, Inc.
DNA Software, Inc. combines science and software to enable industrial genomics through advances in technologies based on nucleic acids. The company’s first software platform, OMP™ (Oligonucleotide Modeling Platform™) models in silico the folding and hybridization of single-stranded nucleic acids with great accuracy. The company combines OMP™ with scientific consulting, custom software development, and custom laboratory research to deliver state-of-the-art support for designing and developing of nucleic acid based technologies.

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“We find it [Visual OMP™] makes very accurate and sometimes surprising (but true) predictions about binding efficiency in multiplexes...” David Whitcombe, Chief Scientific Officer, DxS Ltd, UK.
“It [Visual OMP™] is very powerful software when used for multiplexing design...” Chris Novak, Ambion
“I have designed over 10,000 PCR assays in my experience with DNA Software’s Visual OMP™ and found greater than 95% success rate when using it to design my assays compared to less than 20% success without it.” Dr. Eric Bruening, MolecularMD
“I have been using DNA [Software™] for a long time, at least 8 years. I want to have the best tools available and that is why we use it.” Dr. Nancy Schoenbrunner, Roche Molecular Systems
“I am a long-term user of Visual OMP™. I like this program very much because it provides a solid scientific basis for oligo design and cuts the development time by more than half.” Olga Budker, longtime Visual OMP user
“In my experience, DNA Software™ saved me 75% of my oligo costs.” Helen Minnis, Wave 80
“DNA [Software™] has passed my tests. I’ve recommended it [Visual OMP™]. It performs extremely well.” Dr. Ned Sekinger, Luminex Corporation
“Learning to use the program [Visual OMP™] is time well spent, and the support staff at DNA Software is always ready and able to help” Dr. Sue J. Kohlhepp, Providence Portland Medical Center.