South Plainfield, NJ – February 2016 – GENEWIZ, a leading global genomics services provider, recently collaborated with the National Key Laboratory of Biotherapy of Sichuan University in China, to synthesize the key genes of the Zika virus as part of expedited research and development into drugs and vaccines to combat the infectious disease.
“GENEWIZ recently responded to an emergency request for the synthesis of the Zika virus key genes from Sichuan University,” said Mr. Xi Qin, GENEWIZ China General Manager. “Our gene synthesis R&D team immediately used the most advanced gene synthesis and cloning technologies to complete the project within five working days, synthesizing the key genes of the Zika virus of more than 2000 base pairs.”
Zika has been linked to microcephaly in infants -- neonatal head circumference comparing to the infants of the same sex and gestational age is lower than the average more than two standard deviations. During May 2015 to January 2016, it was reported a total of 4000 cases of pregnant women infected with Zika virus delivered microcephaly infants. Compared to previous years, the number of microcephaly infants increased more than 20 times. The virus may also cause neuropathy Guillain- Barre's disease. There is currently no treatment or vaccine available.
GENEWIZ has frequently collaborated with leading scientists dealing with emergent health challenges, most notably on the Ebola virus and H7N9.
“In the field of gene synthesis, quality and time are two lifelines," said Dr. Amy Liao, GENEWIZ Co-founder, President, and Chief Operating Officer. "China has discovered two cases of imported infections. The synthesis of these key genes can aid in targeted drug and vaccine development to address Zika virus disease. We hope that this outbreak gains early control, and we are ready and willing to help in any way we can."
On February 14, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) released their latest report on global Zika virus infection, which indicates that 34 countries have been reported with confirmed cases, including 27 countries in Latin America. The WHO has announced a public health emergency of international concern on Zika virus.
GENEWIZ is a global leader in R&D genomics services that enable research scientists within pharmaceutical, biotechnology, agriculture, environmental and clean energy, academic, and government institutions to advance their discoveries. Customers rely on our unique and proprietary genomics technologies and services, backed by our specialized experts in DNA sequencing, gene synthesis, molecular biology, high throughput sequencing, bioinformatics, and GLP regulatory-compliant services.
Headquartered in South Plainfield, NJ, GENEWIZ is privately-held with a global network of laboratories in Boston, MA; Washington, DC Metro; Research Triangle Park, NC; San Diego, CA; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; and Seattle, WA. International locations include Beijing, China; Suzhou, China; London, United Kingdom; and Tokyo, Japan. For more information, visitwww.genewiz.com, and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Weibo.