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Jessica Chesher

Managing Editor

Innovation eReview
Company Profile: Diffinity Genomics

Dffinity Genomics is a biotechnology company in Rochester that has developed a technology to allow for a quick and easy method of purifying nucleic acids. The technology works by configuring surfaces to selectively absorb certain kinds of nucleic acids while simultaneously repelling others. This technology is placed inside a pipette tip allowing users to simply aspirate the solution containing the DNA and then mix the solution by pipetting for approximately one minute. The impurities bind to the Diffinity RapidTip® pipette tip technology and then the tip dispenses the purified DNA. This is beneficial for a variety of functions from sequencing to cloning to in vitro transcription.

The technology was originally developed at the University of Rochester by Dr. Lewis Rothberg and Dr. Huixiang Li. Diffinity Genomics was founded in 2005 as the result of a Pre-Seed Workshop that was sponsored by High Tech Rochester and the University of Rochester. The company has exclusive rights to commercialize the technology into products. Diffinity was admitted into High Tech Rochester’s (HTR) incubation program in 2007 which provides extensive hands-on coaching, mentoring, and other assistance to facilitate business growth. The company was able to utilize multiple local resources such as The Entrepreneurs Network, the Rochester Angel Network, and HTR’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) program. Jeff Helfer, an experienced entrepreneur and angel investor, was an active EIR before filling the role of CEO at Diffinity.

Diffinity Genomics has also continued to work with the University of Rochester and they have been awarded several grants from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) to assist in commercializing their technology. They officially graduated from HTR’s incubation program in June of 2011, meaning they have achieved customer validation of their product and they have raised sufficient capital to sustain their business going forward. Diffinity continues to house their offices in HTR’s Lennox Tech Enterprise Center and have been rapidly expanding. Recently they announced new grants from the National Institutes of Health to continue to develop applications and products for nucleic acid purification.

For more information:

Diffinity Genomics www.diffinitygenomics.com

Previous Profile http://nysstlc.syr.edu/Newsletter/companyspotlight/DiffinityGenomics/default.aspx

National Institutes of Health www.nih.gov

High Tech Rochester htr.org

National Center for Research Resources www.nih.gov/about/almanac/organization/NCRR.htm

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