New member of the Biopeople network: BioXpedia opens new doors in protein marker research
Mogens Kruhøffer Ph.D. in molecular biology has founded BioXpedia to conduct this broad screening of protein markers. The technology may contribute to focusing on and accelerating the search for good protein markers for diagnosing and treatment of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Mogens Kruhøffer has previously worked thoroughly with genome analysis as a scientist and cofounder of AROS Applied Biotechnology together with among others, Torben Ørntoft, Professor at Aarhus University.
”By using the screening tool to examine several proteins concurrently on existing clinical data and compare these with patient data on disease progress you may choose the relevant proteins and use them in the translational research. Hopefully the results make it possible to identify new protein markers for better diagnostics, evaluation of effect of treatment and development of effective new drugs,” explains Mogens Kruhøffer.
More than 300 samples a day
BioXpedia uses technology from the Swedish biotech company Olink Proteomics. Through antibody panels it is possible to measure 96X96 reactions through 24 hours at a PCR-analysis system from Fluidigm, that uses chips containing 9216 (96x96) compartments with room for seven nano liter test material in each compartment. BioXpedia may run up to four analysis per day. In a single analysis, you may for example compare blood samples from 48 healthy people and 48 sick people and identify consequent differences in the composition of proteins.
Previously it was only possible to measure few proteins at a time with the traditional ELISA-measuring method, which uses minimum one micro liter serum or plasma for measurement of a single protein. For comparison, BioXpedia may screen 96 proteins based on the same amount of samples.
The technology combines two specific, highly sensitive methods: antibody binding, used in the ELISA-method, and PCR-analysis, used for the detection of nucleic acids. Binding antibodies for 96 proteins makes it possible to make a relative quantification of each individual antigen (protein) using real time-PCR in a Fluidigm Biomark system.
Research units show huge interest
Protein are interesting members of the potential biomarkers family, since they may inform about current disease. The opportunity to examine more proteins concurrently creates huge interest at the clinical research units, which have collected thousands of samples in biobanks.
”We are used to measuring 1-2 relations at a time, while this type of panels make it possible to broaden the analysis, so that we at one time fast and precisely may measure the content of several substances and proteins in a biopsy. If this screening method holds its promise, it is fantastic. It might turn out to be of huge importance to guiding us and giving an overview of the identification process to find disease markers,” says Kristian Stengaard-Pedersen, professor at Department of Clinical medicine, Aarhus University.
There are 12 different antibody panels, which each focus on specific therapy areas, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, inflammatory diseases and metabolic diseases. BioXpedia selects the antibodies based on scientific literature and input from researchers in order to identify potential biomarkers.
”Currently research deals intensively with analysis of blood and urine to identify the presence of remaining disease and metastasis following primary surgery for cancer, as well as to monitor the effect of treatment with for instance chemotherapy. Some of the challenges are to develop sensitive methods to identify very few disease related molecules in plasma. I am convinced that the new sensitive methods for measuring protein signatures will become an important tool in this work. Mogens’ engagement, drive and comprehensive experience will make BioXpedia play an important role in the future collaboration between various researches,” states Professor Lars Dyrskjøt Andersen, the Molecular Medical Unit (MOMA) at Aarhus University Hospital.
”It is great that a professional provider will ensure the quality in these new and competence demanding analyses. Mogens has many years of experience from collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry under GLP-demands, and I am sure that this is a guarantee of competences and quality,” says Torben F. Ørntoft.
Mogens Kruhøffer: mobile+45 28 19 26 82, mkruhoffer@BioXpedia.com
BioXpedia provides analysis of proteins targeted to the pharmaceutical and the biotech industry, research groups at hospitals and universities as well as other research institutions. The technology is developed by Olink Proteomics and id used for the screening of proteins in large sample sets to identify new biomarkers. Olink Proteomics has certified BioXpedia to use the screening tool. BioXpedia furthermore conducts supplemental laboratory and data services within biomarker research.
Biomarkers are used to diagnose and stratify patients, for treatment, surveillance, prevention and development of medicines. As an example, the amount of the protein troponin in blood unveils blood clots. In the end, the identification of valid biomarkers may help doctors to use better diagnostic and treatment methods. In addition to proteins, special genes, microRNA and metabolites may be used as biomarkers.