Indena partners on the development of DNA authentication kits


26 Sep 2017 --- Indena, Hyris and NHP Research Alliance have signed a strategic cooperation agreement for the joint development of DNA authentication test kits for botanicals and related natural health products. The strategic partnership is intended to bring together the strengths of the two corporations alongside the consortium.

“What we are developing is a portable DNA analysis platform which is made available not only to experienced users like in the past, but also to inexperienced users and also untrained operators,” Hyris Ltd CTO Lorenzo Colombo (pictured below) told NutritionInsight earlier this year at Vitafoods Europe in Geneva.


Click to EnlargeAccording to Colombo, the kits can analyze anything that can contain DNA. “In the specific case of Indena, for example, one of the possible applications is quality certification of incoming raw materials,” Colombo said. “We can check for the DNA of the target species and also compare with other targets. We can make sure that the raw material is really what it’s declared to be, and also look for contaminants and counterfeiting and quantify it to understand how much of the contaminant is present.”


Capitalizing on strengths

The alliance is intended to make the most of Indena’s nearly 100 years’ experience in the botanical field and its commitment to the use of this technology for potentially problematic species. Indena says its contribution will be key to provide standard plant reference material resources that will include:

• Preparation of herbarium vouchers with ancillary information from the Indena supply chain.

• Professional taxonomic IDs.

• Genome scans (DNA sequences) for multiple populations to identify unique nucleotide signatures.

• Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) for a chemical fingerprint.

• Image scanning of samples and bioinformatics database archival with on-line access.


In parallel, the patented Hyris platform will offer the capability to perform full genetic analysis of biological samples in any kind of setting. It is said to incorporate all the needed hardware, software and reagents that can be used as a fully portable testing laboratory to provide highly accurate results, reducing the time and costs associated with traditional methods. It can be controlled by bAPP, a dedicated mobile app that provides a complete, intuitive, user-friendly interface.


“Indena, always seeking excellence and innovation, started integrating DNA sequencing into its Quality System in 2011. Today I am proud to announce that an exclusive partnership has been established with the scope of setting once again a forefront industry standard in the botanical authentication field,” says Daniele Giavini, Indena Managing Director.


“Hyris is honored to join this world-class team as a key technology provider,” adds Stefano Lo Priore, Hyris Ltd. CEO. “We look forward supporting the botanicals industry worldwide and help streamline DNA based quality control systems throughout the supply chain.”


Helping research alliance

Indena and Hyris will provide their expertise in order to strengthen the NHP Research Alliance launched by the University of Guelph, called a leader in DNA-based identification. The three strategic partners hold exclusive technological and scientific assets that are now merging together to build a reliable third-party verification program that will benefit the natural health product (NHP) industry.


“Indena/Hyris are Strategic members in the NHP Research Alliance focused on the development of molecular diagnostic biotechnology (bCUBE and probes/kits) that will eventually transform the NHP Industry in a new gold standard for botanical species authentication; affordable testing on-site that is validated by a third-party TRU-ID,” says Dr. Steven Newmaster, Professor, Botanical Director, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph.


NutritionInsight caught up with Indena Marketing Director Cosimo Palumbo recently to talk about the potential for digestive health plant extracts. The video can be found here.


By Paul Creasy 

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