Applied DNA acquires W. Virginia firm

Applied DNA Sciences CEO James Hayward: Catell knows infrastructure.

Applied DNA Sciences, which uses DNA to authenticate a growing array of products and materials that range from currency to wine, has acquired the assets of West Virginia-based Vandalia Research for $1.5 million in cash.

Vandalia’s core technology allows for the large-scale production of specific DNA sequences using what’s known as the polymerase chain reaction, or PCR. PCR can amplify tiny pieces of DNA, generating billions of copies without the impurities of fermentation.

The deal includes 10 devices used to replicate DNA, Vandalia’s intellectual property and contracts with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including at least two with outstanding purchase orders. Vandalia CEO Derek Gregg and two other key employees will become Applied DNA consultants, the firm said. Vandalia’s physical assets should be moved to Stony Brook by year’s end.

Applied DNA said it plans to use Vandalia’s technology to mass produce specific DNA sequences, which  CEO James Hayward said would help his firm as it converts “pilot projects to commercial deployment.”

The technology also will allow Applied DNA to manufacture longer DNA sequences that will be valuable in gene therapy, DNA vaccines and diagnostics, according to the firm.