SomaLogic and Otsuka Pharmaceutical extend research collaboration for therapeutic SOMAmer development

SomaLogic and Otsuka Pharmaceutical extend research collaboration for therapeutic SOMAmer development

8/10/2015

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.”


SomaLogic announces commercial availability of individual SOMAmer reagents

SomaLogic announces commercial availability of individual SOMAmer reagents

7/8/2015

SomaLogic, Inc. announced today that it is making its proprietary SOMAmer (Slow Off-rate Modified Aptamers) reagents commercially available as individual molecules to the life science and biopharma scientific communities for their specific protein-affinity research needs. The initial library available today includes 244 different SOMAmer reagents (and protein targets), and that number is expected to grow over the coming months.

SOMAmer reagents combine the wide target range and high specificity of antibodies with the durability and consistency of aptamers, thus overcoming the well-known limitations of both these traditional affinity reagents. This combination of attributes is a result of the unique “protein-like” modifications made to the DNA bases that comprise the SOMAmer reagent, and the amenability of those modifications to established DNA synthesis and detection techniques.

“We recognize that there is a significant need for robust and reliable protein-affinity reagents in the wider research community, as evidenced by recent commentaries on the problems of reproducibility, reliability and consistency of commercially available antibodies,” said Paul Menter, VP and General Manager, Life Sciences. “We believe that researchers will find that our SOMAmer reagents are superior performers in virtually every protein detection and measurement application that currently uses antibodies or traditional aptamers.”

To date, SOMAmer reagents have been used successfully by SomaLogic researchers and their collaborators in multiple protein-related laboratory methods, including:

  • Tissue histochemistry
  • Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS)
  • Affinity purification
  • Enrichment or depletion prior to mass spectrometry
  • Sandwich assays
  • Antagonism of protein activity

Detailed Application Notes describing each of these uses are available on the SomaLogic website.

The initial catalog being made commercially available today consists of 244 different SOMAmer reagents that carry a 5′ biotin label. SomaLogic will add new SOMAmer reagents against additional proteins, as well as reagents with different 5′ modifications, on a regular basis. However, researchers can also take advantage of SomaLogic’s SOMAmer Discovery Service to have a superior protein-binding reagent tailor-made to their specific requirements.

SomaLogic is making its SOMAmer reagents available on a Research Use Only basis.


Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar and SomaLogic announce agreement to deploy the automated version of SOMAscan assay

Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar and SomaLogic announce agreement to deploy the automated version of SOMAscan assay

6/15/2015

Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) and SomaLogic announced today that the automated version of the SOMAscan assay, which has been previously available only at SomaLogic’s headquarters in Boulder, CO, will be installed at the WCMC-Q Education City campus in Doha, Qatar. In addition to being the first automated site outside of SomaLogic, this is also the first placement of the SOMAscan assay outside of North America.

“The SOMAscan assay is a key component of the cutting edge biomedical technology provided in Qatar by Weill Cornell Medical College,” said Johannes Graumann, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Director of the Proteomics Core at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. “It will help us achieve our mission to support and foster cross-institutional collaboration, improve our understanding of disease mechanisms, identify markers of disease and progression, and to ultimately improve patient care.”

Shahrad Taheri, MBBS, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Clinical Research Core at WCMC-Q, said: “SomaLogic’s technology can potentially allow more personalized assessment of disease risk and, therefore, better preventive measures. Furthermore, once disease occurs it may be possible to reverse or delay it through greater understanding of treatment selection and responses to treatment measures. This will provide a revolutionary advance to modern medical care.”

Compared to other current proteomic technologies, SomaLogic provides researchers with unprecedented power for protein biomarker discovery, diagnostics development, and pharmaceutical discovery and development. SOMAmer® (Slow Off-rate Modified Aptamer) reagents, which are at the center of SomaLogic’s proteomics platform, are a new class of superior protein-binding reagents that combine the best properties of both monoclonal antibodies and traditional aptamers. The SOMAscan assay, which incorporates 1129 different SOMAmer reagents, can efficiently, accurately, and rapidly measure proteins across a wide range of concentrations in small volumes of multiple biological sample types. The automated version of the SOMAscan assay being installed at WCMC-Q can be configured to analyze 100 or more biological samples a day.

“We are delighted that Weill Cornell Medical College is providing the SOMAscan assay to its researchers by making it available at their state-of-the-art Qatar location, and under the leadership of such capable scientists” said Byron Hewett, Chief Executive Officer of SomaLogic. “We anticipate many significant new insights into disease diagnosis and treatment to come from their work.”
SomaLogic is continuing to expand access to its SOMAscan assay through its placement in leading academic research centers. Current sites, in addition to WCMC-Q, include Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania, the US National Institutes of Health, the University of Colorado Denver, and the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Proteomics and Systems Biology. Additional SOMAscan assay sites – both the automated and manual versions – will be announced in the next several months.


Large-scale discovery of Duchenne muscular dystrophy biomarkers published

Large-scale discovery of Duchenne muscular dystrophy biomarkers published

5/26/2015

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.


SomaLogic Announces Agreement to Place SOMAscan™ Proteomics Assay at University of Manitoba

SomaLogic Announces Agreement to Place SOMAscan™ Proteomics Assay at University of Manitoba

2/4/2015

SomaLogic, Inc. announced today that the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Proteomics and Systems Biology (MCPSB) is the first SOMAscan™ assay “Early Access” site outside of the United States. It is expected that the assay will be installed and fully functional at the Centre by the middle of 2015, under the leadership of Director John A. Wilkins, Ph.D.

“MCPSB is dedicated to the promotion and practice of Systems Biology and Proteomics in Manitoba, both in academia and industry,” said Dr. Wilkins. “The addition of the SOMAscan assay gives us a powerful new platform to complement our existing proteomic capabilities. We see unique potential for SOMAscan-based applications in basic and applied biomedical research.”

Compared to other current proteomic technologies, SomaLogic’s offerings provide researchers with unprecedented power for protein biomarker discovery, diagnostics development, and pharmaceutical discovery and development. SOMAmer® (Slow Off-rate Modified Aptamer) reagents, which are at the center of SomaLogic’s proteomics platform, are a new class of superior protein-binding reagents that combine the best properties of both monoclonal antibodies and traditional aptamers. The SOMAscan assay, which incorporates 1129 different SOMAmer reagents, can efficiently, accurately, and rapidly measure proteins across a wide range of concentrations in small volumes of multiple biological sample types.

“We are delighted to work with Dr. Wilkins and his colleagues at the University of Manitoba to expand their access to the SOMAscan platform, and we anticipate that many new discoveries and insights into human biology and disease will come out of this collaboration,” said Byron Hewett, Chief Executive Officer of SomaLogic.

SomaLogic is continuing to expand access to its SOMAscan assay through its placement in leading academic research centers. Current sites, in addition to MCPSB, include Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania, the US National Institutes of Health, and the University of Colorado Denver, with several more expected to be announced in the coming months.


SomaLogic Announces Deployment of SOMAscan Proteomics Assay at University of Colorado Denver

SomaLogic Announces Deployment of SOMAscan Proteomics Assay at University of Colorado Denver

11/18/2014

SomaLogic, Inc. announced today that the SOMAscan™ assay, a breakthrough proteomics platform, will be deployed at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD), Anschutz Medical Campus. The assay will be performed for UCD’s basic and clinical researchers under the direction of Mark Geraci, MD, Head of the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, and Bifeng Gao, PhD, Director and Manager of UCD’s Genomics and Microarray Core. It is expected that the SOMAscan assay will be installed and fully functional at UCD by early 2015.

“We are excited to be able to offer our research colleagues a way to perform critical proteomics studies to complement the genomics assays we currently provide,” said Dr. Geraci. “I believe that SomaLogic’s SOMAscan assay will accelerate not only our understanding of the many different diseases being studied here, but will also point to potential new therapeutic approaches.”

Compared to other current proteomic technologies, SomaLogic’s offerings give researchers unprecedented power for protein biomarker discovery, diagnostics development, and pharmaceutical discovery and development. SOMAmer® (Slow Off-rate Modified Aptamer) reagents, which are at the center of SomaLogic’s proteomics platform, are a new class of superior protein-binding reagents that combine the best properties of both monoclonal antibodies and traditional aptamers. The SOMAscan assay, which incorporates 1129 different SOMAmer reagents, can efficiently, accurately, and rapidly measure proteins across a wide range of concentrations in small volumes of multiple biological sample types.

“We are delighted to partner with the University of Colorado to make our technology more accessible to its great research scientists,” said Byron Hewett, Chief Executive Officer of SomaLogic. “We have had several highly successful collaborations with individual CU researchers in the past, and this new joint effort will lead to even more important discoveries with our Colorado neighbors and colleagues.”

The University of Colorado Denver joins the University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the National Institutes of Health as a SOMAscan assay site. SomaLogic is continuing to expand access to its SOMAscan platform through its placement in leading academic research centers, and anticipates announcing additional SOMAscan assay sites over the next several months.

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