Well, not that kind of rich. It’s a new lab kit from New England Biolabs that lets researchers enrich samples with double-stranded methylated DNA, not grant dollars.
The EpiMark Methylated DNA Enrichment Kit uses a macromolecule composed of the methyl-CpG binding domain of human MBD2 fused to the Fc tail of human IgG1, which is itself attached to paramagnetic protein A beads. According to an NEB-Sequenom press release, the technology was developed to study differentially methylated DNA.
Looks like the protocol is mostly a few wash steps on a minimum of 4 ng DNA, a magnetic capture, and a 65° water incubation. Interestingly, NEB says each protein A can have as many as four MBD2 domains available to the solvent–each protein A bead can attach two antibodies, and each antibody carries an Fc dimer with two connected binding domains.
On the business end, Sequenom says it will enlist NEB to make the kit components en masse if it decides to create a prenatal diagnostic. That probably means looking for fetal DNA in maternal blood to discover aneuploidies and other conditions with non-invasive screening.