Nature Biotechnology Publishes Study on the Superior Properties of Enchira's Rachitt(TM) Gene Shuffling Method

Apr 02, 2001, 01:00 ET from Enchira Biotechnology Corporation

    THE WOODLANDS, Texas, April 2 /PRNewswire/ --
 Enchira Biotechnology Corporation (Nasdaq: ENBC) announced today the
 publication of the first peer-reviewed report documenting the application of
 the Company's RACHITT(TM)(RAndom CHImeragenesis on Transient Templates) gene
 shuffling method.  The paper, "DNA Shuffling Method for Generating Highly
 Recombined Genes and Evolved Enzymes," appears in the April edition of the
 scientific journal Nature Biotechnology.  An editorial review of this research
 by Joelle N. Pelletier, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of
 Chemistry at l'Universite de Montreal, accompanies the research report.  After
 careful examination of the research, Dr. Pelletier concluded that RACHITT(TM)
 presents a novel strategy for molecular evolution, distinct from previously
 reported gene-shuffling strategies, that can lead yield a dramatic increase in
 diversity and a more comprehensive exploitation of sequence space.
     The study's authors report three main advantages of RACHITT(TM) over other
 technologies, which include sexual PCR and staggered extension.  These
 specific advantages of RACHITT(TM) all result in libraries of chimeric genes
 that are much more diverse than those produced using the competing
 methodologies.
 
     *     First, DNA sequence analyses of the chimeric libraries generated
           using RACHITT(TM) showed an average of 14 crossovers per gene as
           compared to a maximum of four crossovers per round of shuffling by
           sexual PCR.  This illustrates that RACHITT(TM) can shuffle the genes
           more thoroughly, creating a library of very diverse chimeric genes.
 
     *     Second, RACHITT(TM) allowed researchers to produce genetic
           crossovers between very closely neighboring sequences.  Where other
           methods treat close-lying sequences as "linked," and move them about
           in chunks, RACHITT was able to separate them.  This unlinking of
           neighboring sequences allows the generation of novel sequence
           combinations, and unleashes the full potential of the diversity
           inherent in the shuffled genes.  A similar level of "high
           resolution" recombination is unprecedented in other methods.
 
     *     Finally, use of the RACHITT(TM) method resulted in fewer unshuffled
           "parental" clones and duplicate "sibling" chimeras.  Avoiding these
           unwanted by-products allows inclusion of more chimeric genes in a
           library of a given size, and allowed researchers to screen the
           libraries more efficiently without wasting time screening through
           parental and sibling clones.
 
     Overall, the chimeric libraries created by RACHITT(TM) were much more
 diverse than libraries created by other methods.
     "This paper is the culmination of over two years of effort to use directed
 evolution to improve the properties of targeted genes," said Wayne M. Coco,
 Ph.D., Senior Scientist at Enchira and inventor of the RACHITT(TM) technology.
 "It is exciting to finally share these results from our lab with the
 scientific community.  The RACHITT(TM) method is a powerful, new tool for
 creating genetic diversity and we look forward to using it and other methods
 to create better genes and gene-based products for pharmaceutical and
 life-sciences applications."
     "This validation of RACHITT(TM) by the scientific community supports the
 earlier decision made by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)
 that RACHITT(TM) is notably distinct and not based upon current
 methodologies," said Peter Policastro, Ph.D., Enchira's President and Chief
 Executive Officer.
 
     Additional information about Enchira is available at its web site:
 http://www.enchira.com.
 
     This document contains forward-looking statements that are subject to
 certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including but not limited to,
 the outcome of the pending arbitration with Maxygen, the ability to raise
 additional funds on acceptable terms, the technical uncertainty and risks
 associated with commercialization of the Company's technology, the market
 acceptance of the Company's technology, the Company's dependence on
 collaboration partners, competition, and the ability to enforce and defend the
 Company's patents and proprietary technologies. Should one or more of such
 risks and uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove
 incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated in such
 forward-looking statements.  For a discussion of such risks and assumptions,
 see "Risk Factors" included in the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for
 the year ended December 31, 2000.
 
 

SOURCE Enchira Biotechnology Corporation
    THE WOODLANDS, Texas, April 2 /PRNewswire/ --
 Enchira Biotechnology Corporation (Nasdaq: ENBC) announced today the
 publication of the first peer-reviewed report documenting the application of
 the Company's RACHITT(TM)(RAndom CHImeragenesis on Transient Templates) gene
 shuffling method.  The paper, "DNA Shuffling Method for Generating Highly
 Recombined Genes and Evolved Enzymes," appears in the April edition of the
 scientific journal Nature Biotechnology.  An editorial review of this research
 by Joelle N. Pelletier, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of
 Chemistry at l'Universite de Montreal, accompanies the research report.  After
 careful examination of the research, Dr. Pelletier concluded that RACHITT(TM)
 presents a novel strategy for molecular evolution, distinct from previously
 reported gene-shuffling strategies, that can lead yield a dramatic increase in
 diversity and a more comprehensive exploitation of sequence space.
     The study's authors report three main advantages of RACHITT(TM) over other
 technologies, which include sexual PCR and staggered extension.  These
 specific advantages of RACHITT(TM) all result in libraries of chimeric genes
 that are much more diverse than those produced using the competing
 methodologies.
 
     *     First, DNA sequence analyses of the chimeric libraries generated
           using RACHITT(TM) showed an average of 14 crossovers per gene as
           compared to a maximum of four crossovers per round of shuffling by
           sexual PCR.  This illustrates that RACHITT(TM) can shuffle the genes
           more thoroughly, creating a library of very diverse chimeric genes.
 
     *     Second, RACHITT(TM) allowed researchers to produce genetic
           crossovers between very closely neighboring sequences.  Where other
           methods treat close-lying sequences as "linked," and move them about
           in chunks, RACHITT was able to separate them.  This unlinking of
           neighboring sequences allows the generation of novel sequence
           combinations, and unleashes the full potential of the diversity
           inherent in the shuffled genes.  A similar level of "high
           resolution" recombination is unprecedented in other methods.
 
     *     Finally, use of the RACHITT(TM) method resulted in fewer unshuffled
           "parental" clones and duplicate "sibling" chimeras.  Avoiding these
           unwanted by-products allows inclusion of more chimeric genes in a
           library of a given size, and allowed researchers to screen the
           libraries more efficiently without wasting time screening through
           parental and sibling clones.
 
     Overall, the chimeric libraries created by RACHITT(TM) were much more
 diverse than libraries created by other methods.
     "This paper is the culmination of over two years of effort to use directed
 evolution to improve the properties of targeted genes," said Wayne M. Coco,
 Ph.D., Senior Scientist at Enchira and inventor of the RACHITT(TM) technology.
 "It is exciting to finally share these results from our lab with the
 scientific community.  The RACHITT(TM) method is a powerful, new tool for
 creating genetic diversity and we look forward to using it and other methods
 to create better genes and gene-based products for pharmaceutical and
 life-sciences applications."
     "This validation of RACHITT(TM) by the scientific community supports the
 earlier decision made by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)
 that RACHITT(TM) is notably distinct and not based upon current
 methodologies," said Peter Policastro, Ph.D., Enchira's President and Chief
 Executive Officer.
 
     Additional information about Enchira is available at its web site:
 http://www.enchira.com.
 
     This document contains forward-looking statements that are subject to
 certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including but not limited to,
 the outcome of the pending arbitration with Maxygen, the ability to raise
 additional funds on acceptable terms, the technical uncertainty and risks
 associated with commercialization of the Company's technology, the market
 acceptance of the Company's technology, the Company's dependence on
 collaboration partners, competition, and the ability to enforce and defend the
 Company's patents and proprietary technologies. Should one or more of such
 risks and uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove
 incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated in such
 forward-looking statements.  For a discussion of such risks and assumptions,
 see "Risk Factors" included in the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for
 the year ended December 31, 2000.
 
 SOURCE  Enchira Biotechnology Corporation