Bio-Techne, formerly Techne Corporation, has always been the parent company of R&D Systems. On February 10, 2014, Techne Corporation, announced that it will be operating under the new trade name, Bio-Techne. The use of Bio-Techne will bring the companyâ€™s R&D Systems, BiosPacific, Tocris Biosciences, Boston Biochem and Bionostics products under one common brand name.
R&D Systems, a Minnesota-based biological products company, started by producing hematology controls and calibrators for use in hospitals and clinics. In 1977, we introduced our first product, a platelet-rich-plasma control, and in 1981, we became the second manufacturer in the world to release a whole blood control with platelets. Over the years, R&D Systems Hematology has continued to develop a variety of hematology controls. These products continue to be available through our Clinical Controls Division.
In 1985, we released our first research reagent, TGF-beta 1, becoming the first company in the world to produce this cytokine commercially. TGF-beta 1 acts as an extracellular signaling molecule that is produced by many cell types. It is involved in such processes as immune function, cell proliferation, and cell differentiation. Following the launch of this product, we purified several other cytokines from natural sources and released them to the research market. Of great interest to biomedical researchers, cytokines are specialized proteins mediating communication between cells. They have many biological activities including regulating developmental processes and orchestrating the immune response. In addition, unregulated cytokine activity has been linked to many diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and inflammatory disorders.
Encouraged by success in the cytokine market, we formed the Growth Factor (now known as Biotechnology) Division in 1985 with the goal of producing and marketing a wide range of human cytokines through genetic engineering. Recombinant DNA technology offers several advantages over extraction of these proteins from natural sources, including lower production cost and potentially unlimited supply. In 1989, the Biotechnology Division began developing monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies to cytokines, and in 1990 we developed our first enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit.
Currently, R&D Systems, Tocris Bioscience, and Boston Biochem will serve as the flagship brands in Bio-Techne's life science portfolio. In the coming months a new corporate identity, including new packaging, new literature, new trade show booth, as well as a new unified website will be introduced to customers.