The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) intends to award a sole-source contract for streptavidin and antibody-labeled oligonucleotide reagents needed to support novel diagnostic assay development efforts of USAMRIID’s Diagnostic Systems Division.
The proposed vendor for the award is Solulink of San Diego, CA. A review of potential sources for labeled oligonucleotides was conducted. Although the review identified several firms that manufacture oligonucleotides, Solulink was determined to be uniquely qualified to meet current requirements.
The requirement for the labeled oligonucleotides originates from a USAMRIID funded research project designed to develop novel diagnostic assays that can simultaneously detect multiple agent-specific nucleic acid and protein in a sample using an instrument capable of detecting nucleic acids only. The experimental design of these assays requires a reproducible quality labeled oligonucleotide.
The oligo used are 70 to 75 nucleotides (nt) in length which is significantly longer than normal. Synthesis of such a long oligonucleotide and purification is extremely tricky, requiring a skill that is gained and maintained only through practice. Accuracy of synthesis must be demonstrated and purification must be complete in order to successfully label the oligo.
While other companies can synthesize oligo’s, they do not routinely synthesize ones that are 75 nt’s in length. Very few companies have the ability and reputation of Solulink in synthesizing, purifying and then labeling 75 nt size oligos with both streptavidin and antibodies (separately but using the same oligo synthesis).
Source: FBO.gov, Solicitation Number: W81XWH-14-T-0133.