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Posted: December 4, 2002

Addenda: Dec. 12, 2002;
Jan. 9, 17, 21 & 27; Feb. 5, 2003; May 6, 2003; Apr. 8, 2006; Nov. 13, 2007

Links Updated: Dec. 5, 2011


2,3-DPG kits and reagents needed for red cell storage studies

A Southern California scientist who does research in transfusion medicine reports that Sigma Chemical Corporation is discontinuing sale of 2,3 DPG kits and reagents. After investigating several sources, the scientist cannot find an alternative supplier and needs help in finding a replacement source. The scientist expresses angst because, unless an alternative source can be found, their dilemma is that they may not be able to continue performing red cell storage studies with maintenance of 2,3 DPG as one of their test outcomes. So far they report having looked up the following web sites:

The scientist also reports having contacted the following companies, without success:

  • r-Biopharm (formerly BD Bioscience)
  • Wako Bio
  • Stanbio
  • Roche

Finally, he called colleagues at some local hospitals where 2,3 DPG might be in use as a clinical test, but to no avail. Thus, he hopes a colleague in the field may have a source or be able to suggest additional avenues to explore.

In reply to the above appeal, the following colleagues offer these responses:

  1. A Northern California clinical investigator/anesthesiologist/transfusion medicine physician reported that he first learned from the e-network email that Sigma will no longer produce their 2,3 DPG kits. Apparently, his group needs the test kits, so they will join the hunt for kits, and let colleagues know if they find another source.

  2. A blood banker from the East Coast of the US reports that she has heard that ATP kits are also at risk, which if this turns out to be true, may present an even bigger problem. She promised to let colleagues know if they learn anything else.

  3. A technologist working in research at Canadian Blood Services in a major city in Canada reports that the timing for this discussion is perfect, since they are looking at evaluating red cell survival for one of their projects, and they have been running into the same problem. They have just finished looking at countless companies and scouring the internet for a supplier for this test and also for ATP. They checked the companies that the Southern California scientist looked at as well. They are very frustrated that Sigma would just discontinue these kits with no notice and no one to take over the manufacturing. The Canadian is sure there are many research groups and clinical labs that are stuck in the middle of their projects. Any suggestions for alternate suppliers or ways of measuring these compounds would be greatly appreciated.

ADDENDA Dec. 11, 2002

  1. A colleague in San Francisco (same as in reply #1 above) may have solved the problem. First the background as he understands it. Sigma has stopped making the kit and also the required enzyme [phosphoglycerate mutase] . They have none in stock. Roche bought Boeringer-Mannheim and stopped selling the kits in the US because they were concerned that they might need an FDA approval since people were using (or might use) it for clinical purposes. Roche still sells it in Germany under the Boeringer-Mannheim name.

    The San Francisco colleague has contacted a person at Roche who is willing to order it from Germany as long as people use it only for research/lab purposes. It will NOT appear in their catalog, and this person must be contacted directly. He requests that people contact him as soon as possible so that he may order the correct number of kits.

    Contact Paul Clark at Roche by phone (317-521-2581) or email.

ADDENDA Jan. 9, 2003

  1. A Deputy Director of a Center for Treatment of Sickle Cell Disease located in the Eastern USA reports that the discontinuation of the 2,3-DPG kits by Sigma has derailed his research on the control of 2,3-DPG biosynthesis and jeopardized his graduate student's thesis project. In the course of trying to order kits from Sigma last week, he was told that Sigma had shut down their entire diagnostics division. The woman he spoke to said they had wanted to sell that branch of their business but could not find a buyer. If true, that means that many other kits are 'down the tubes' as well. He says that he sent an e-mail to Paul Clark (see comment above) to see if he can go that route. He wonders if there is any updated information regarding availability of 2,3-DPG kits by any other sources.

ADDENDA Jan. 17, 2003

  1. The Canadian technologist (who provided report #3 above) has the following to add. His group contacted Roche Canada and was able to order 2,3-DPG kits. (1-800-363-5887, CDN$256.00 per kit of about 300 tests). They are expecting delivery within a week. The sickle cell treatment center director (#5 above) may also want to try to order the Roche kit from Canada. The Canadian promises to re-post to this discussion when the Roche kits actually arrive in the lab. He is curious to find out how others solved their problem and wishes good luck to all!

ADDENDA Jan. 21, 2003

  1. A transfusion medicine colleague from the Banco de Sangre de Cantabria, Spain reports that his institution uses Sigma reagents to quantitate free hemoglobin in plasma. Now that Sigma has stopped producing the reagents, he would like to know of alternative suppliers.

ADDENDA Jan. 27, 2003

  1. As followup to the Canadian technologist's response (#6 above), they wrote to confirm receipt of the 2,3-DPG shipment from Roche Canada, on Jan. 24. For those who are interested, here is a link to product information for the kit.

ADDENDA Feb. 5, 2003

  1. Mr. Paul Clark of Roche Diagnostics Corporation (Phone 800-428-5433 ext. 2581; Fax 317-521-4065) reports being successful in ordering the 2,3 DPG test kits into the US for sale through the Roche Applied Science division. The catalog number is #148334, and at 30 tests per kit will cost USD $245. The first shipment will be available soon, however, he could only obtain 20 kits until production capacity is increased (that should be in the next batch) to accommodate the US market demand. They will order again on a monthly basis, and should, within another month, be able to meet everyone's demands in the US. He cautions that customers not try and order all of the kits in stock early on, as they will be getting more in March.

    He has graciously provided the package insert for the kit as a PDF file. Any technical questions as to the kit technique, or performance, should be directed to 1-800-262-4911, at the Roche Applied Science technical services group. Orders may be placed at 1-800-262-1640, Roche Applied Science customer service.

    Please note: There will be a letter that must be obtained by the customer from the customer service at Roche Applied Science, which must be signed and returned, by mail or fax stating that the user will not use the kit for diagnostic purposes. It is for research purposes only.

    Mr. Clark hopes that this has helped the researchers' needs in the US. He tried to get the kits in as quickly as possible to replace the formerly Sigma sourced assays. If there is a need for a highly sensitive ATP assay, another package insert is provided (PDF) for their ATP Bioluminescent HSII which describes what they offer for that assay as well. ATP Bioluminescence CLII Cat #1699695. This assay can be run on chemiluminescent plate readers, Luminometers, or scintillation counters.

ADDENDA May 6, 2003

  1. A colleague from Massachusetts wonders if anyone else would share their recent experience with reproducibility using the newly available test kits. She has found that their results vary widely on replicates of the same sample, and that their initial absorbance readings are drifting such that it is difficult to obtain a stable reading. She claims to be following the instructions in the package insert to the letter. If anyone has any suggestions, she would appreciate hearing them.

ADDENDA Apr. 8, 2006

  1. A California colleague wonders "What is the current status of sources for 2,3 DPG and ATP kits? We are just beginning a research program on blood storage".

  2. The Editor reports that after referring the inquiring colleague to the following links: HERE and HERE, he reports that Roche Diagnostics responded to a phone inquiry regarding the 2,3 DPG kit, Cat #148334 and the ATP kit Cat #1699695. Reportedly, both are stocked and sold in the US with overnight shipping. He concludes by saying that he is hopeful to find a local blood storage researcher with whom a collaboration might be established.

ADDENDA Nov. 13, 2007

  1. A researcher in Australia reports that she is about to commence some red cell studies. She is aware of the Roche 2,3 DPG kit, but was wondering if any colleagues have identified any other suppliers. She is particularly interested in a microplate method, if available. She acknowledges having done an internet search, but has had little success in finding such a commercial assay.

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