Persomics launches its RNAi screening technology



Dr Sibusiso Sibisi, the CSIR CEO and Dr Asongwe Tantoh at Persomics USA labs in Boston

Dr Sibusiso Sibisi, the CSIR CEO and Dr Asongwe Tantoh at Persomics USA labs in Boston

The launch was attended by CSIR Biosciences’ Executive Director, Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela and commercialisation manager, Fanie Marais.The CSIR’s spin-out company, Persomics AB, recently launched its high-content Ribonucleic Acid-interference (RNAi) screening technology at the 13th Annual Discovery on TARGET conference in Boston, USA.

Dr Neil Emans, CEO of Persomics USA, who was the principal investigator on this technology during his tenure at the CSIR, presented the technology to the delegates. The talk, titled ‘High Content RNAi Screening with Persomics: Discover More Faster with turnkey printed libraries‘, was well received and business discussions were held with key players in the industry.

The focus of the talk was on RNAi screening technology developed at the CSIR. RNAi is routinely used in High Content and Phenotypic screening. However, set-up and operational costs are beyond the reach of individual labs and limit core facilities. Persomics technology miniaturises, accelerates and de-industrialises RNAi screening. Pre-printed libraries integrate well with conventional high content screening platforms and image analysis. This enables off-the-shelf highly efficient screening at a low cost and in the reach of individual labs.

The conference was attended by experts from across the globe who specialise in RNAi for functional genomics screening. Upon invitation from the conference organisers, Emans participated in an expert panel to discuss screening trends and improvements in assay platforms and reagents that users can expect to see in the near future.

Dr Sibusiso Sibisi, the CSIR CEO; Dr Rachel Chikwamba, Group Executive: Strategic Alliance and Communications; and Chris Sturdy, CSIR Chief Financial Officer, previously visited the Persomics laboratories located in AstraZeneca “BioHub” Research Centre at Gatehouse Drive in Waltham, Boston, USA. Sturdy, who represents the CSIR on the Persomics AB Board, says, “This precinct positions Persomics AB strategically amongst the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries, which are essential in realising the successful commercialisation of the CSIR’s technology.”

The RNAi screening technology was presented by Dr Asongwe Tantoh at the 5th CSIR Conference on Friday, 9 October 2015. Click here to see Dr Tantoh’s presentation.

From left to right: Fanie Marais, CSIR Biosciences commercialisation manager; Persomics’ AB scientists Stephanee Warrington and Mara Stangl; with Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela, CSIR Biosciences Executive Director at the launch of Persomics AB RNAi screening technology in Boston, USA.

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