Trinity College biotech firm opens US R&D lab

31 May 2007

A Trinity College Dublin campus biotech company chaired by the Irish Government’s science advisor Patrick Cunningham has established a state-of-the-art lab in Kansas, the heart of America’s meat industry.

IdentiGEN, which last year scooped a landmark deal with Tesco, has developed a DNA system that assures both the quality and safety of beef and pork by guaranteeing the source of the products throughout the entire supply chain, from the farmer to the consumer’s plate.

IdentiGEN’s DNA Traceback product verifies the origin of meat products using DNA identification similar to the use of DNA for high-tech forensic investigations in humans.

“The opening of our North American operations sets a new stage of growth for the company and opens new possibilities for the industry,” said Cunningham.

“Consumers have demonstrated a willingness to pay a premium for guaranteed quality and safety and we are uniquely positioned to provide that assurance at an affordable price point.”

With its North American facility up and running, DNA analysis from IdentiGEN’s worldwide TraceBack customers is being transitioned to the new lab in Kansas, which will be the focal point for the commercialisation of the system in the US and Canada.

“Comprehensive meat identification programs like IdentiGEN’s DNA traceability system are important to our food exports, to our domestic food production and to help assure consumers of food quality and safety,” said Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Adrian Polansky.

“Kansas is a business-friendly state with more than US$9bn in annual agricultural sales. We also are a leader in red meat production so we believe it was a natural choice for IdentiGEN to locate its North American laboratories here.”

By John Kennedy