A prototype production-scale centrifugal oligonucleotidesynthesizer (PCOS-1) will be installed at Isis PharmaceuticalsInc.'s production facility in Carlsbad, Calif., in the first quarterof 1994.

The machine was developed by Large Scale Biology Corp. (LSB)and Isis. LSB announced Tuesday that the PCOS technology"allows efficient use of conventional solid-phase oligo synthesismethods at scales in the range of 1 to 35 grams of crudeproduct per run (approximately 10 times the capacity ofconventional sparged reactors), with yields of 75-200 gramsachievable in the same instrument through the use of a'stretch' rotor and high-load synthesis supports."

LSB's vice president of operations, Constance Seniff, said themachine is unique in that it can be used for scale-up. She saidother synthesizers have bad flow properties, and when morereagent is added for synthesis, greater stirring is required,which breaks the glass used in the synthesizer.

She noted that the machine also allows one to see and measurewhat is happening during synthesis, which is not possible withcurrent machines. She said Millipore Corp.'s sparged reactor isthe most commonly used synthesizer on the market.

Isis (NASDAQ:ISIP) is in Phase II trials with its firstoligonucleotide-based drug, ISIS 2105, for treatment of genitalwarts. In October the company filed an investigational newdrug application for its second product, ISIS 2922, for retinitisin people with AIDS. -- Brenda Sandburg

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