Indena S.p.A. (Milan) has announced a new DNA-testing partnership with the biotechnology company Hyris Ltd. (London). The agreement gives Indena a minority share in Hyris and preferential access to Hyris’s DNA-analysis technologies in the botanical-derivatives industry, including its proprietary bCUBE laboratory device. The company says that, using Hyris’s platform, the companies will be able to jointly develop specific identification methods for the genomic identification of botanical species.
Hyris’s portable bCUBE technology, which weighs 1.5 kg, allows users to analyze nucleic acids and run both temperature cycles and isothermal analysis. According to Indena, Hyris’s platform is able to perform a full genetic analysis of biological samples in any setting, and includes all the testing software, hardware, and reagents necessary to do so. Its strengths are its portability, speed, and accuracy, the company says, and, because the system is portable, thus reducing time, results are said to be available much more quickly than by using traditional methods. In addition, the bCUBE device can be controlled by bAPP, a mobile app that allows users to download required test protocol, check the reaction as it is happening, and receive immediate diagnostic information on the sample being examined, Indena says.
The company aims to work with Hyris to develop methods for genomic identification of botanical species based on unique sets of reagents for specific DNA sequences (bKITs). According to the company, these bKITs can be used to detect pathogens in a biological sample and to correctly identify the nature of the sample, among other purposes.
After the infamous 2015 DNA-testing investigation of the supplements industry by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, many companies are looking for ways to expand their testing portfolios and assuage consumer concerns. “The dietary supplement market and consumers need reassurance regarding the authenticity of the products they consume,” said Daniele Giavini, managing director, Indena, in a press release. “Once again, Indena is pleased to announce that it will offer another pioneering solution with high added value to its partners.”
Stefano Lo Priore, CEO, Hyris, echoed this sentiment: “Hyris is delighted to provide full-spectrum technological solutions to be integrated in Indena’s information and quality-management systems. This agreement validates the company’s strategy to build long-term relationships with industry leaders in various application sectors of molecular biology. We welcome Indena’s decision to make a direct investment in the company as part of this agreement, and look forward providing value to our client in this challenging market segment.”