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The Transfection Experts

Our work at Mirus Bio began with a passion for science. That passion continues today with a brand that reflects our commitment to deliver the best results, support, and technologies to scientists worldwide. It highlights innovative products that address the workflow and applications needed in today’s research. Expanding upon our expertise in transfection, Mirus has crafted a more comprehensive offering for nucleic acid delivery. With chemical transfection reagents, electroporation products and virus production and transduction products, we can now provide the optimal delivery systems for molecular and cell biology applications.


Mirus company foundersInternationally recognized gene therapy specialist, Jon Wolff, along with his colleagues James Hagstrom and Vladimir Budker founded the company in 1995, based on research they performed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mirus was founded on the principle that non-viral (i.e. plasmid DNA based) methods offer distinct advantages over viral methods of gene transfer. Our initial breakthrough in 1996 came with the development of a new type of transfection reagent that combined high efficiency delivery with low cellular toxicity: TransIT®-LT1 (Low Toxicity) Reagent remains the “gold standard” for broad-based gene delivery applications.

Following this path, Mirus continued the development of a wide range of non-viral delivery technologies using proteins, polymers, and lipids in conjunction with novel chemistries that provided unique nucleic acid delivery capabilities. In 2001, our scientists applied the fundamentals of delivery to the emerging field of RNA interference and introduced the first transfection reagent specifically designed to deliver siRNA with the highest efficiencies: TransIT-TKO® Transfection Reagent.

While developing and commercializing the most relied upon transfection reagents, our commitment to the research community reached beyond delivery technologies, offering scientists tools from our bench: The Label IT® non-enzymatic nucleic acid labeling, a method of choice for studies of intracellular nucleic acid tracking. The Label IT® technology employs proprietary chemistry to covalently attach labeling molecules to DNA and RNA. This simple one-step process is faster and more robust than traditional multi-step enzymatic labeling, and can be used for intracellular tracking, chromosome analysis, and microarray labeling.

With an understanding that some cell types were resistant to chemical transfection, in 2008 Mirus researchers developed and introduced: Ingenio® Electroporation Solutions, a method that can be used on any conventional device.

Mirus Bio Timeline
Calcium Phosphate
Introduction of chemical transfection
Drs. F.L. Graham and A. J. van der Eb first use calcium phosphate as a nonviral means to deliver nucleic acids.

Graham et al. Virology. 52(2):456-67.
Viral Vectors
Recombinant viral vectors for expression
Viral vectors (SV40) used to infect mammalian cells to produce functional mRNA and protein.

Mulligan et al. Nature. 277(5692):108-14.
Hamer et al. Cell. 17(3):725-35.
Electroporation first introduced
Dr. Eberhard Neumann introduces electroporation − electrical currents as a means to facilitate DNA uptake.

Neumann et al. EMBO. 1(7):841-845.
Liposome based transfection
Felgner et al. first demonstrate cationic liposome mediated transfection.

Felgner et al. PNAS. 84(21):7413-7.
Defining Genes And Implications On Gene Transfer
Defining Genes and
Implications on Gene Transfer
In vivo DNA Delivery
Jon Wolff and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin are the first to show that naked plasmid DNA could be taken up and expressed by muscle cells in vivo.

Wolff et al. Science. 247:1465–1468, 1990.
Importance Of Low Toxicity Gene Transfer
Importance of Low Toxicity Gene Delivery
First Mirus Bio product launch - DNA transfection
TransIT®-LT1 Transfection Reagent – Development of the first serum-compatible transfection reagent.

In vivo DNA delivery
First demonstration that plasmid DNA could be delivered effectively into liver cells in vivo (mice) using rapid intravascular injections.

Budker et al. Gene Therapy. 3:593–598, 1996.
Nucleic Acid Labeling
Mirus Bio for nucleic acid labeling
Development of Label IT® Technology to complement transfection. Label IT® allows direct chemical fluorescent and non-fluorescent labeling that is nondestructive, stable, and preserves nucleic acid function, making the technology ideal for use in tracking.
Initial Hurdles For Gene Transfer
Initial Hurdles for Gene Transfer
In vivo DNA delivery
First demonstration that plasmid DNA could be delivered effectively into skeletal muscle cells in vivo using rapid intravascular injections

Budker et al. Gene Therapy. 5:272–276, 1998.
In Vivo DNA Delivery
In vivo DNA delivery
First demonstration of high efficiency gene delivery to mouse liver following a rapid injection of plasmid DNA into the tail vein.

Zhang et al. Human Gene Therapy. 10:1735–1737, 1999.

First demonstration that “caged” DNA-containing nanoparticles are resistant to aggregation under physiologic salt conditions.

Trubetskoy et al. Bioconjugate Chemistry. 10:624–628, 1999.
Mirus Bio for siRNA transfection
TransIT-TKO® Transfection Reagent – Development and commercialization of the first high efficiency transfection reagent designed specifically for siRNA delivery into cultured mammalian cells.
In vivo siRNA delivery
In vivo siRNA delivery
First demonstration of siRNA-mediated knockdown of an endogenously expressed gene in mice.

Lewis et al. Nature Genetics. 32:107–108, 2002.
DNA-containing nanoparticles
In vivo DNA delivery
Development of low toxicity, DNA-containing nanoparticles for gene delivery to lungs.

Trubetskoy et al. Gene Therapy. 10:261–271, 2003.
Mirus Bio for mRNA transfection
Development of a high efficiency, low toxicity, large RNA transfection reagent, TransIT®-mRNA Transfection Reagent, for mammalian cells.

In vivo DNA delivery
Development of a nonviral method for delivering genes and siRNAs into mammalian skeletal muscle.

Hagstrom et al. Molecular Therapy. 10:386–398, 2004.
miRNA Labeling
Mirus Bio for miRNA labeling
Development and commercialization of a one- step, nonenzymatic labeling method for microRNA, the Label IT® miRNA Labeling Kit.
Nobel Prize for RNAi
Andrew Fire and Craig Mello awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine for discovery of RNA interference (RNAi).

In vivo gene delivery
Development of a genetic immunization method in research animals by intravenous delivery.

Bates et al. Biotechniques. 40:199–208, 2006.
Mirus Bio for electroporation
Introduction of Ingenio® Electroporation Kits & Solution to facilitate high efficiency delivery in hard-to-transfect cells on most of the commonly used electroporation devices.

Mirus acquisition
Hoffman-La Roche acquires therapeutic division of Mirus Bio Corporation.
Mirus Bio for DNA delivery
Introduction of TransIT®-2020 – High performance broad spectrum DNA delivery that is effective in many cell types and is animal origin-free.
Mirus Bio for protein production
Introduction of TransIT-PRO® Transfection Kit – Ideal for high yield biotherapeutic protein production in suspension CHO and HEK 293 cells.
Mirus Bio for 3D transfection
Mirus collaborates with Reinnervate to demonstrate transfection of cells grown in alvetex® 3D scaffolds to introduce the 3D Transfection System with TransIT®-3D Transfection Reagent, which enables biologically relevant transfection.
Custom Services
Mirus Bio custom services
Mirus launches new custom services division for full transfection offering, custom reagent development, and nucleic acid labeling.
Breast Cancer Research Mirus Bio for breast cancer research
Introduction of the first breast cancer cell line-specific reagent – TransIT®-BrCa Transfection Reagent.

Mirus Bio for Insect Cells
Introduction of animal origin-free formulation for exceptional DNA delivery and high titer baculovirus production in insect cells – TransIT®-Insect Transfection Reagent.

Mirus Bio transfection breakthrough
Availability of TransIT®-X2 Transfection Reagent – Breakthrough in lipid and polymer chemistry unleashes the best available reagent for DNA delivery with siRNA transfection capabilities.