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PlaqueTec and the Babraham Institute Collaborate on Phenotypic Screen of Coronary Artery Blood

Two blood samples.
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PlaqueTec, a company identifying endotype-specific biomarkers to advance precision medicine for coronary artery disease (CAD), based at the Babraham Research Campus, and the Flow Cytometry Facility at the Babraham Institute announced a collaboration to develop a cell phenotyping assay to detect cell subpopulations in human blood. Once validated, the bespoke assay will be available as a service in the Flow Cytometry Facility. The collaboration then aims to use the assay to investigate the different cell types present in coronary artery samples collected from patients with CAD consenting to participate in PlaqueTec’s ongoing BIOPATTERN trial.1


PlaqueTec and the Flow Cytometry Facility were awarded UKRI-BBSRC Campus Collaboration Funding (2022/2023) by the Babraham Research Campus to design and develop an assay for the identification of different cell types present in human blood samples, for use with spectral cytometers. Cells can then be sorted for downstream follow-on analysis, to further characterise the cell types.

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The collaborative project aims to utilise the assay to perform cell phenotyping analysis on coronary artery samples obtained from patients in the BIOPATTERN trial using PlaqueTec’s unique sampling device, the Liquid Biopsy System. This exploratory analysis could uncover novel biological insights into the cell types accumulating at coronary disease sites, and the resulting data will be integrated with other multi-omics and imaging data collected in the BIOPATTERN trial to better inform precision approaches to CAD treatment.


“At PlaqueTec, we are committed to improving prospects for patients with CAD. Through this collaboration with the Flow Cytometry Facility at the Babraham Institute, we aim to gain further novel insights into the pathobiology of CAD by identifying and characterising the different cell types accumulating at or near coronary disease sites.” Dr Diane Proudfoot, Chief Scientific Officer, PlaqueTec commented. “We anticipate these studies will help us to better understand CAD on an individual patient level, informing the development of precision medicine approaches to improve the outcome for patients.”


Dr Rachael Walker, Head of Flow Cytometry, Flow Cytometry Facility at the Babraham Institute added: “We are delighted to collaborate with PlaqueTec, who are also based on the Babraham Research Campus, to develop a unique cell phenotyping assay that will support its BIOPATTERN trial. The assay validation studies have already supported our teaching courses and staff development, and we look forward to adding this service to our flow cytometry offering at the Babraham Institute.”


Derek Jones, Chief Executive of Babraham Research Campus, said: "The UKRI-BBSRC Campus Collaboration Fund was initiated last year to give individuals and companies on Campus access to a unique tranche of funding not available elsewhere. We are therefore delighted to see the collaboration of PlaqueTec and the Flow Cytometry Facility at the Babraham Institute come to fruition supported by an award from this fund and look forward to seeing their research unfold.”