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Targeting Systems was started in May 1996 entirely with the help of an SBIR phase I grant from the NIH. The company launched its first product line, Targefect within its first year of inception. There are now almost a 100 citations listing the use of these reagents for gene delivery. Although the company began as a one person operation, it now has about 50 products which are sold in over 15 countries worldwide. Our main focus has always been active research towards the development of novel technologies for applications in functional genomics. Our main areas of research include regulation of gene expression, alteration of cell function through intracellular delivery of functionally active proteins, and the development of ultra sensitive reporter gene assays based on unique luciferases. Targeting Systems was the first to develop a triple luciferase reporter gene assay based on a red and green emitting firefly luciferase in combination with a novel secreted luciferase (gaussia luciferase) and the first to develop and commercialize Gaussia luciferase as a reporter gene for mammalian cells. The novel luciferase technology developed here offers sensitivity over a 1000 times higher than the current technology based on firefly/renilla luciferases and has proved very useful for drug discovery applications involving high throughput screening.
Our goal is to deliver innovative technology. The gaussia luciferase technology is very useful for tracking human stem cells and monitoring stem cell survival after implantation into animals, a step that is critical for assessing success of stem cell-based therapeutics in preclinical trials. The protein delivery technology developed at Targeting Systems is applicable for the expansion of stem cells by delivering functionally active proteins. These developments lead to the spinoff of a new company Pluristem Innovations in February 2007. Targeting Systems currently holds several issued and pending patents and is now planning to conduct research in the therapeutic potential of its products.
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