In Applied DNA’s new UL partnership, it’s safety first

Locked in: Stony Brook-based Applied DNA Sciences has announced another new international product-verification collaboration, this time with 124-year-old science-safety specialist UL.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

A new deal with a worldwide safe-sciences leader will expand a Long Island innovator’s already-impressive global reach.

Illinois-based UL, known primarily as Underwriters Laboratories for most of its 124-year history, has reached a “commercial agreement” with Applied DNA Sciences that will “lay the foundation for a significant new development in product authentication and supply-chain traceability,” according to a statement from Applied DNA.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the partnership will involve new UL “verification marks,” created with Applied DNA’s flagship SigNature molecular tags and designed to track and secure product content throughout the materials, manufacturing and distribution phases.

While Applied DNA has announced a number of similar partnerships in recent months, each of those was focused exclusively on a particular market or product – leather goods, pharmaceuticals, etc.

With the UL deal, Applied DNA will apply its forensic analysis expertise to a number of different industries simultaneously.

Specifically, the company’s DNA-based tags will create unique “fingerprints” that can be traced through a product’s supply-chain journey – Applied DNA’s main claim to fame and, combined with UL’s auditing and inspection expertise, an unprecedented validation tool that “[instills] an added level of confidence and [empowers] trust,” Applied DNA said Wednesday.

The big idea here is third-party verification – a demonstration to consumers that the supplier is taking concrete steps to meet UL’s highest quality standards. Additionally, the Applied DNA collaboration will help UL “cut through messaging and promotional clutter by making independent, objective and scientifically based assessments of product content and point-of-origin claims,” according to Applied DNA.

Denis Koh, vice president and general manager of UL’s Consumer & Retail Services division, said the new Verification Mark Program will help retailers, manufacturers and the brands they engage instill greater confidence “that products enter the market as intended and from trusted sources.”

“UL strives to help manufacturers, brands and retailers develop and bring safer products to market and empower consumer trust,” Koh said in a statement.

The UL partnership is another big score for Applied DNA, which has steadily collected new domestic and international partners over the last two years, introducing its DNA-based product-authentication technology – including SigNature DNA and the CertainT molecular tagging and tracking platform – into new markets on multiple continents.

Already in 2018, the Stony Brook biotech has announced promising alliances with global textiles manufacturer GHCL Ltd. and international pharmaceuticals conglomerate ACG Worldwide, both based in India. Those deals followed a busy 2017 in which Applied DNA forged collaborations with fertilizer manufacturers and distributors across Turkey, West Africa and Asia.

James Hayward: Ideal deal.

Also in 2017, Applied DNA announced a new technology-sharing partnership with international printing-solutions giant Videojet Technologies and a supply-chain-security arrangement the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, as well as a deal with an unnamed collaborator in the burgeoning in vitro diagnostics field. Through that collaboration, the Stony Brook firm is providing quarterly shipments of DNA products produced through its proprietary polymerase chain reaction technology, which Applied DNA acquired through its 2015 acquisition of West Virginia-based Vandalia Research Inc.

In UL, Applied DNA welcomes another partner with a long international reach – and a fresh opportunity to introduce SigNature DNA and other propriety forensic-verification products to a vast global customer base including manufacturers, trade organizations, governments and end users.

Applied DNA President and CEO James Hayward called UL’s Verification Mark Program “an ideal platform for our SigNature molecular tags.”

“The global footprint and existing relationships of the UL organization afford Applied DNA a unique opportunity to engage key customers and quickly scale in-field testing services to support supply-chain quality and traceability requirements,” Hayward added.


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