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Biodesign researchers to develop new reagent pipeline for molecular medicine
Date:10/24/2011

y combining forces with LaBaer, a leader in automated, high-throughput technologies for protein analysis, they will take the DNA synbody concept to the next level and develop the ability to identify affinity reagents that will compete head-to-head with traditional antibodies.

Since the 1970s, the current gold standard is monoclonal antibody technology. But they are made from genetically pure cells and produced in animals via immunization, which is an expensive, time-consuming approach that can take many months of labor. And a single antibody can costs thousands of dollars to producewith no guarantee the final product, or even commercially available antibodies, will be of high enough quality to recognize their target the same way every time. Even with these limitations, antibodies represent a $5 billion global molecular diagnostics market that focuses on key areas such as infectious disease testing, cancer screening and drug development.

To develop a next generation technology for affinity reagents, LaBaer and Chaput wanted to overcome the shortcomings of current technologies, focusing their efforts on easy-to-assemble building blocks that are cheap, high quality, simple to make, and can be mass produced and easily distributed to labs throughout the world.

"What the scientific community really wants is a technology that's doing it all: faster, cheaper, better, and a technology where you can mass-produce reagents," said Chaput. "Our idea is to create an affinity reagent pipeline that's completely automated using robotics to discover peptides that bind proteins."

Their innovative approach will allow them to identify a select number of affinity reagents from among trillions of possibilities in just a single step. The initial protein targets of the grant are human kinases, important signaling molecules found to participate in many vital metabolic functions of the cell, as well as diseases such as cancer, and are the foundation for ne
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Contact: Joe Caspermeyer
joseph.caspermeyer@asu.edu
480-727-0369
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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