SomaLogic completes agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb for expanded access to SOMAmer reagents

SomaLogic completes agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb for expanded access to SOMAmer reagents


SomaLogic, Inc., announced today that it signed an agreement with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE-BMY) to provide expanded access to its proprietary SOMAmer reagents. The agreement covers both the 1,310 reagents available in the current public version of the SOMAscan assay, as well as custom SOMAmer reagents developed through SomaLogic’s SOMAmer Discovery Service specifically for Bristol-Myers Squibb. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We’re excited that Bristol-Myers Squibb has selected our SOMAmer reagents as tools for their drug discovery and development research,” said Byron Hewett, Chief Executive Officer of SomaLogic. “We look forward to a long and productive relationship between their scientists and ours as we work with them to integrate our technology into their research.”

SOMAmer (Slow Off-rate Modified Aptamer) reagents are a new generation of protein-binding molecules that combine the best properties of antibodies and traditional aptamers. Each SOMAmer reagent consists of a unique, short single-stranded DNA sequence that incorporates several bases that have been modified to include “protein-like” side chains. These unique chemical properties confer on SOMAmer reagents both high affinity and specificity for their target proteins as well as high durability and reproducibility, making them attractive reagents for virtually every laboratory assay that currently relies on antibodies.

To date, SomaLogic has developed thousands of SOMAmer reagents to a broad array of different proteins critical to normal and disease biology, and it continues to expand its publicly available SOMAmer reagent library at regular intervals. SomaLogic currently offers individual research users access to several hundred of its individual SOMAmer reagents, as well as the discovery of “fit-for-purpose” custom SOMAmer reagents through its SOMAmer Discovery Service.

SomaLogic and Otsuka scientists publish paper describing therapeutic potential of novel SOMAmer reagent for rheumatoid arthritis

SomaLogic and Otsuka scientists publish paper describing therapeutic potential of novel SOMAmer reagent for rheumatoid arthritis


In a “Fast Track” article published in the journal Nucleic Acid Therapeutics*, researchers from SomaLogic and Otsuka Pharmaceutical describe a series of studies that demonstrate that treatment with a novel Slow Off-rate Modified Aptamer (SOMAmer) molecule can significantly delay the onset and reduce the severity of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in a cynomolgus monkey model of the disease. The SOMAmer molecule used in these studies, named SL1026, was initially selected for its ability to directly bind and block the signaling of the critical inflammatory protein interleukin-6 (IL-6), which is known to be involved in RA onset and progression.

“SL1026 represents a new class of drug candidates for the treatment of diseases where interleukin-6 plays a central role, including cancer and other inflammatory diseases in addition to RA,” said Nebojsa Janjic, Chief Science Officer at SomaLogic. “These initial studies reinforce and extend the large potential of SOMAmer molecules as therapeutic agents.”

The researchers tested SL1026 in a total of 24 cynomolgus monkeys. Pharmacokinetic studies of the molecule in 12 monkeys across a range of doses established the dosing regimen for determining its effects on rheumatoid arthritis onset and progression in the other 12 animals. The complete results are available in the Nucleic Acid Therapeutics manuscript, which is available to all readers under an “open access” license.

“Our collaboration with Otsuka researchers over the past several years has been incredibly productive and gratifying,” said Byron Hewett, Chief Executive Officer at SomaLogic. “Its world-class expertise in drug development has made it a terrific partner for exploring the promise of our rapidly growing SOMAmer reagent library for addressing critical unmet need for novel therapeutics. We believe that the RA work is just the first of what will be many successful studies.”

Although there is no cure for RA, there are several treatment options for trying to manage the disease. Notable among these is the biological agent Actemra® (tocilizumab, Genentech), an antibody based drug that binds the IL-6 receptor protein, thus preventing IL-6 signaling through its receptor. Because it is based on nucleic acids rather than amino acids, SL1026 offers certain advantages over antibody-based drugs such as tocilizumab, including the lack of an immune response to the drug itself (as demonstrated in the published manuscript), and a more consistent chemical rather than biological synthesis method.

SomaLogic scientists can select SOMAmer reagents that specifically bind virtually any protein of interest, including those that are known to be important drug targets across a wide range of diseases and conditions.

*Hirota M. et al. (2015). Chemically Modified Interleukin-6 Aptamer Inhibits Development of Collagen-Induced Arthritis in Cynomolgus Monkeys. Nucleic Acid Therapeutics DOI: 10.1089/nat.2015.0567.

SomaLogic announces College of American Pathologists (CAP) accreditation of its CLIA laboratory

SomaLogic announces College of American Pathologists (CAP) accreditation of its CLIA laboratory


SomaLogic, Inc. announced today that its SomaLogic Clinical Laboratory (CLIA laboratory) has been registered with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988, and has received accreditation by the College of American Pathologists (CAP).

“The CAP accreditation of our CLIA laboratory is an important milestone on our way to applying our unique proteomic technology to the transformation of research and clinical diagnostics,” said Byron Hewett, CEO of SomaLogic. “Through our CLIA laboratory, we will be able to provide a growing range of cutting-edge tests and assays across many different diseases for the academic and pharmaceutical research communities and, soon, for clinical providers and their patients.”
SomaLogic’s upcoming new SOMAmer reagent-based test offerings from its CLIA laboratory are based on novel protein biomarker combinations, or “signatures,” which have been discovered through the application of the company’s SOMAscan assay to a wide array of many different diseases and conditions.

SomaLogic’s CMS Registration Number is 06D2093281, and its CAP Accreditation Number is 7223571. SomaLogic is in full compliance with all provisions (including the Privacy and Security Rules) of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

SomaLogic named “Company of the Year” at Colorado BioScience Association’s 2015 Awards Dinner

SomaLogic named “Company of the Year” at Colorado BioScience Association’s 2015 Awards Dinner


SomaLogic was recognized as “Company of the Year” by the Colorado BioScience Association (CBSA) at its 12th Annual Awards Dinner in Denver, CO, on November 12, 2015. SomaLogic was cited for developing “a new proteomics technology with a mission to leverage its proprietary technology to discover, develop and commercialize revolutionary new life science research tools and breakthrough clinical diagnostic products that will transform healthcare.” Chairman and Founder Larry Gold and CEO Byron Hewett accepted the award on behalf of the company.

CBSA represents more than 350 member organizations, including biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostic, ag bio and mobile digital health companies, research and academic institutions and service providers.
For more information, please visit the CBSA website.

SomaLogic and Otsuka Pharmaceutical extend research collaboration for therapeutic SOMAmer development

SomaLogic and Otsuka Pharmaceutical extend research collaboration for therapeutic SOMAmer development


SomaLogic, Inc. announced today that Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. has extended its initial collaboration agreement with SomaLogic to continue the development of several SOMAmer® therapeutics. Specific projects and financial terms in the extended agreement were not disclosed.

“SOMAmer molecules are a promising new class of drug entities, and we are excited to continue our work with SomaLogic to fully realize that promise,” said Takayuki Shiratsuchi, Operating Officer and General Manager of Basic Research at Otsuka Pharmaceutical. “We are optimistic that extending this collaboration will help accelerate several of our ongoing therapeutics discovery and development efforts.”
SomaLogic is the recognized leader in the development and application of advanced aptamer technologies. The company has designed its proprietary SOMAmer (Slow Off-rate Modified Aptamer) reagents to combine the wide target range of antibodies with the consistency and reproducibility of traditional aptamers. The chemical addition of “protein-like” side chains to the nucleic acid bases that comprise a SOMAmer molecule results in the ability to discover molecules that bind specifically and tightly to virtually any targeted protein. These properties allow SOMAmer molecules to be used in virtually any laboratory or clinical application that currently uses monoclonal antibodies, including therapeutics. For example, SOMAmer molecules have been demonstrated to be potent inhibitors of specific targeted proteins. This property, along with other unique characteristics, makes SOMAmer candidates attractive for novel therapeutic discovery and development.

“We are delighted that our Otsuka colleagues see the value of our technology, and have chosen to extend their productive collaboration with us,” said Byron Hewett, CEO of SomaLogic. “The projects we are continuing to develop with them hold great potential for bringing novel therapeutics to the clinic for several unmet clinical needs.”

Large-scale discovery of Duchenne muscular dystrophy biomarkers published

Large-scale discovery of Duchenne muscular dystrophy biomarkers published


The results of a collaborative study by a large group of academic, industry and patient advocacy scientists to address the critical need for useful biomarkers to help with the diagnosis and treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy was published today in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS). Using the SOMAscan assay to measure 1,125 proteins simultaneously in the blood of Duchenne patients and age-matched controls, the research group identified highly significant changes in the concentration levels of 44 different proteins. These findings are being shared openly with the entire Duchenne research and patient advocate community in the hope of driving further understanding of Duchenne biology, as well as accelerating new diagnostic and therapeutic development.

“Although we have known the genetic cause of Duchenne since the mid 1980s, progress towards effective treatments has been painfully slow, largely because we don’t have the biomarkers we need to quickly test promising new treatments or to provide a set of diagnostic and prognostic tests for each Duchenne patient,” said Pat Furlong, Founding President of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) and an author of the PNAS study. “This work is an important and exciting step toward closing that gap.”

Using a new protein measurement technology from SomaLogic, blood samples from two different cohorts of Duchenne patients and non-Duchenne control volunteers (usually siblings of the Duchenne patients) were analyzed independently, and the results compared between the cohorts. Forty-four different proteins were found to be either highly increased (24 proteins) or decreased (20 proteins) in the Duchenne samples as compared to controls. While several of these protein changes have been previously described (usually related to the breakdown of muscle tissue and leakage into the blood stream), many of the other proteins discovered using this new approach were unexpected, and not previously associated with Duchenne. Furthermore, the majority of the protein concentrations observed varied widely with the age of the patient, and thus with the progressive severity of the disease.

“We are excited by the findings of this study, and are already pursuing some of the new leads that emerge from it,” said Yetrib Hathout, Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Systems Biology, Center for Genetic Medicine at Children’s National Health System and first author on the PNAS paper. “These non-invasive biomarkers potentially can be used as readout to monitor disease progression and response to therapies in boys with Duchenne, and should also spur a large number of renewed efforts around finding new treatments for this devastating disease.”

The 1,125 proteins were measured using the “SOMAscan™ assay,” a technology developed by SomaLogic that can simultaneously and accurately measure the individual proteins in very small amounts of blood or other samples. By comparing patient and control samples, identification of critical differences in protein concentrations can be identified rapidly. These significantly different proteins can then be used as the basis for developing new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, including their use as biomarkers for quickly assessing the efficacy of promising new drugs.

“This kind of study is precisely what we envisioned when we set out to discover and develop a new approach to protein measurement,” said Larry Gold, Founder and Chairman of SomaLogic and senior author on the PNAS paper. “We are thrilled to be a part of this important step towards improving the lives of Duchenne patients and their families, and look forward to expanding on these findings in collaboration with these and additional partners. We also hope that other researchers and advocacy groups will join forces with us to bring this powerful technology to bear on a wide range of rare diseases.”

About Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed in childhood, affecting approximately 1 in every 3,500 to 5,000 live male births (about 20,000 new cases each year). Because the Duchenne gene is found on the X-chromosome, it primarily affects boys; however, it occurs across all races and cultures. Duchenne results in progressive loss of strength and is caused by a mutation in the gene that encodes for dystrophin. Because dystrophin is absent, the muscle cells are easily damaged. The progressive muscle weakness leads to serious medical problems, particularly issues relating to the heart and lungs. Young men with Duchenne typically live into their late twenties. Learn more at the PPMD website.