Stabilizing Effects: Launching an RNA-based diagnostics company

In 2000, Ambion took its highly successful RNA research business into the clinical diagnostics market.  One of the first companies to take on the challenging opportunities of microRNA (miRNA), Ambion Diagnostics needed to make its presence known against industry giants such as Roche Molecular Diagnostics.

Rather than spend time on broad imagery, abstract creativity, and long-term brand building, Principle Point focused on the technology strengths Ambion had established: a deep understanding of the delicate and tedious nature of RNA.  DNA and RNA sound so similar to most marketing agencies, but knowing the science of biochemistry, we appreciate the difference that one 'de-oxy' makes between these two important biological molecules.  

DNA is missing one hydroxide group which makes it incredibly stable in an aqueous environment (e.g., a cell), making it the ideal template for storing the biological blueprint material of living organisms.  Indeed, it exists virtually intact for millions of years in pre-historic mosquitos trapped in tree sap.  RNA on the other hand, has one pesky hydroxide group that DNA does not, making it easily hydrolizable by a water molecule.  This instability is perfect for RNA's purpose in the cell - to temporarily express copies of genes as messenger RNA (mRNA), then to degrade so that the gene is no longer expressed.  However, this inherent instability makes RNA extremely difficult to work with in the laboratory.

Ambion's proven strength as "The RNA Company" was where we started, focusing on their breakthrough RNA stabilizing product, RNAlater.  Our ad campaign painted a real-world picture of how such an important biotechnology could impact global healthcare and clinical diagnostics.  Ambion Diagnostics later became Asuragen and continues to work with Principle Point for web and interactive marketing in 2012.

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