Our History

Trevigen was founded in 1992 to provide tools to researchers exploring DNA damage and repair in relation to cancer research and genetic toxicology. In the early years the company became known as a pioneer of high quality reagents and kits for the  detection of apoptosis, notably with early detection by Annexin V binding, and late detection with  in situ (TUNEL) kits  which were and still are the most extensive arrays  of reagents qualified for that purpose available today.

In the mid-1990s, recognizing an unmet need in the market, Trevigen was the first company to develop reagents, slides and protocols for the comet assay, which is still the only direct method of measuring DNA damage via single cell gel electrophoresis. Through the years, bolstered by multiple NIH SBIR grant awards on the subject, Trevigen developed and released the first standardized electrophoresis system for the comet assay, which is still used today. More recently, a high throughput version of the comet assay, called CometChip®, was exclusively licensed from MIT.  The CometChip® and Comet Analysis Software, developed and manufactured by Trevigen, combined with the standardized comet electrophoresis system, make the first available high throughput comet assay platform.

From inception, Trevigen recognized the major role that the PARP enzyme played as the sentinel in the dynamic of DNA damage and repair. Consequently, Trevigen developed purified PARP enzyme and monoclonal/polyclonal antibodies for the detection of PARP’s product, PAR. With the advent of PARP inhibitors used in combination with other cancer cell elimination strategies, Trevigen was induced to develop the first validated Pharmacodynamic ELISA (PDA) for use in quantifying the effects of PARP inhibitors being considered as therapeutic agents. In a subsequent effort related to cancer therapy development, the company also developed a validated PDA for another important biomarker for the detection of DNA double strand breaks, called gamma-H2AX.

Naturally, Trevigen had to establish a robust cell culture capacity in order to support the various DNA damage detection based product development programs. To aid in funding the effort, Trevigen applied for and was awarded a contract to produce EHS tumor for the Dental Institute at NIH. The tumor was used by NIH to make basement membrane matrix (a.k.a. basement membrane extract or BME) used to culture the various cell lines under investigation. Eventually, Trevigen licensed the technology from NIH and also began to produce the basement membrane matrix, as well as the Laminin I and Collagen IV derived from the EHS tumor. Through proprietary biochemical processing, Trevigen developed a variety of basement membrane matrices optimized for various applications. These include 2-D and 3-D cell culture, stem cell work, xenograft/tumorgraft production, robust organoid culture and difficult to grow organoid culture (see Cultrex® BME Selection Chart). Our tailored BME matrices are especially germane at the current time when the research community is trending toward more physiologically relevant 3-D and organoid cell culture models. In recognition of this trend, Trevigen opened the Organoid Resource Lab (ORL) in 2016.

In 2004 Trevigen licensed NIH technology that standardized the study of angiogenesis in vivo, and released the DIVAA (Directed in vivo Angiogenesis Assay) kit in early 2006. This marked the beginning of the development and release of several cell assay kits including vascular permeability, cell migration,  cell invasion and, recently spheroid formation and proliferation kits.

Throughout our history, Trevigen has focused on providing new, standardized and high quality products for researchers studying DNA damage and cell behavior. Going forward, our mission remains the same. Thus we encourage you—the researcher—to always keep us in mind as a resource for your work, as well as a possible licensing recipient of technology you may develop.

We wish you continued success in your work!