Thermo Fisher Scientific Accelerates Biomarker Research at Pronota
News Nov 24, 2008
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. announced it is helping Pronota discover and validate disease biomarkers effectively with its new HeavyPeptide FasTrack™ service.
Heavy peptides are isotopically labeled peptides used as internal standards in mass spectrometry experiments to identify and quantify specific proteins of interest in biological samples. Traditionally, selection of the peptides needed for these experiments and final peptide purification has been time consuming.
FasTrack speeds up the process of peptide selection and purification by providing a selection of crude heavy peptides to immediately begin developing protein assays. The crude peptides are used in mass spectrometry setup and initial analysis to identify the best proteotypic peptides.
Once a customer has identified its candidates, Thermo Fisher uses retained crude stock to produce the final purified heavy peptides as Thermo Scientific HeavyPeptide AQUA kits.
“Our new FasTrack service will improve our customers’ quantitative workflows, providing robust data faster while reducing costs,” said Joel Louette, commercial director for the Thermo Fisher Scientific biopolymers business. “By accelerating biomarker validation, we are helping our customers speed the development of new medicines and diagnostics for patients who need them.”
Pronota is developing next-generation diagnostic tests from the protein biomarkers it discovers and validates in house. In addition, the company collaborates with pharmaceutical companies by providing biomarker discovery and validation in a wide range of clinical and pre-clinical biological samples.
“In the past, we had to wait four to five weeks for purified peptides. Now, we get the crude peptides in about 10 days and can start building our assays right away,” said Katleen Verleysen, vice president of operations and technology development at Pronota. “Coupled with our novel in-house workflow, this means we can now put together highly sensitive, multiplex protein assays in less than six weeks, significantly accelerating biomarker research and development.”
Pronota uses a proprietary discovery platform, called MASStermind®, to discover low-abundance biomarker candidates; proteins whose levels are consistently changing in response to disease or drug treatment.
Pronota’s MASSterclass™ biomarker verification platform then employs Thermo Fisher HeavyPeptides to measure the levels of each of the candidates in large groups of samples. Using a novel fractionation method to raise antibodies, Pronota can detect and quantify specific target proteins present at low concentrations in the sample.
The company expects to achieve the sensitivity with the recent installation of the Thermo Scientific TSQ Vantage triple-stage quadrupole mass spectrometer.