Generic Technologies for the Targeted Detection and
|Project Duration and Cost:||
|Status Report of the Completed Project:||View Report.|
In 1994, no commercially viable method existed for analyzing genetic mismatches. In order to determine if these genetic mismatches were present, scientists had to perform time-consuming and expensive analyses under highly controlled conditions. As the Human Genome Project advanced and continued to generate volumes of genetic data, scientists needed a faster process for analyzing gene sequences. Third Wave Technologies, Inc., a company of three researchers, had discovered a promising new enzyme technology that had the potential to facilitate the more rapid, inexpensive, and simplified analysis of individual genetic variabilities, but private capital sources viewed the technology as too high risk for investment.
and Economic Impacts
NIST's Advanced Technology Program (ATP) provided cost-shared funding research with Third Wave Technologies, Inc. of Madison, Wisconsin to develop simple-to-use, low-cost, diagnostic tools to rapidly detect specific DNA and RNA sequences for broad-based medical diagnosis and for tracking treatments.
Under the ATP project, two new processes were developed:
Third Wave Technologies has been able to successfully commercialize this innovation. The ATP project formed the backbone for Third Wave’s Invader™ Platform of clinical molecular diagnostics. Currently, Invader™ products are being used routinely in more than 100 clinical laboratories, and this number is growing every day. This product has been called the “gold standard of SNP detection”. In fact, Third Wave Technologies has been so successful, that PE Biosystems, a leading manufacturer of genetic testing tools, sought to buy out Third Wave Technologies for nearly $330 million. In the end, however, both parties preferred to collaborate as independent corporations. The success has not gone unnoticed. In 2000, then governor Tommy Thompson singled it out in his State Address, linking Wisconsin's continued economic success to the “unlimited potential of companies like Third Wave Technologies ”. 1
To promote broad national benefit, ATP encourages the dissemination of knowledge. And the knowledge spillovers for this project have been tremendous:
Five years after the ATP investment, Third Wave Technologies earned more than $34 million in revenues and conducted a successful initial public offering that raised over $82 million.
Date created: June
Last updated: August 21, 2006
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