SomaLogic receives Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Tuberculosis Biomarkers Grant

SomaLogic receives Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Tuberculosis Biomarkers Grant

2/9/2012

 

SomaLogic, Inc., Receives Grand Challenges Tuberculosis Biomarkers Grant

Boulder CO, February 9, 2012

SomaLogic, Inc., announced today that it will receive a tuberculosis (TB) biomarkers grant through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges in Global Health program, an initiative that seeks to overcome persistent bottlenecks in creating new tools that can radically improve health in the developing world. Urs Ochsner, head of the Infectious Diseases Research Group at SomaLogic, will pursue an innovative research project to identify and validate TB biomarkers, titled SOMAmer-based detection of tuberculosis biomarkers.

The Grand Challenges TB Biomarkers program provides funding for groundbreaking research into TB biomarkers for the development of a low-cost, simple to use tool that can quickly and accurately diagnose TB in developing countries.

“There is an urgent need to break through barriers in biomarker research in order to develop a highly-sensitive point-of-care diagnostic to improve identification of active TB cases,” said Chris Wilson, Director of Global Health Discovery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We hope these innovative ideas lead to effective and affordable TB diagnostics that can make an impact on one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases.”

Dr. Ochsner’s project is one of ten Grand Challenges TB biomarkers grants announced today. “The initial applications of our SOMAscan™ proteomic technology to detect certain protein biomarkers of the tuberculosis bacteria have been highly promising and exciting,” said Dr. Ochsner. “We are both delighted and grateful to the Gates Foundation for their recognition of the potential of this work, and for their support in helping us bring it to the point where it can make a difference in literally millions of lives.”

The most beneficial diagnostic TB test would need to measure both multiple TB bacterial proteins as well as the host proteins involved in the onset and progression of the disease. In addition, it must perform effectively in the conditions in the parts of the world where TB is most often rampant. SomaLogic’s breakthrough proteomic technology, based on protein-detecting reagents called “SOMAmers,” provides clear advantages over current reagents and methods used in TB tests in terms of accuracy, sensitivity, stability (e.g., no need for refrigeration), ease of production and cost: In short, all of the attributes necessary to develop a POC diagnostic device for remote and resource-poor areas of the world.

In line with the Gates Foundation’s Global Access policy, SomaLogic is committed to ensuring that the knowledge gained during this project is promptly and broadly disseminated, and that diagnostic tests that come from this work will be made available and accessible at a reasonable cost to the developing world.

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About Grand Challenges in Global Health
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recognizes that solving our greatest global health issues is a long-term effort. Through Grand Challenges in Global Health, the foundation is committed to seeking out and rewarding not only established researchers in science and technology, but also young investigators, entrepreneurs and innovators to help expand the pipeline of ideas to fight diseases that claim millions of lives each year. We anticipate that additional grants will be awarded through the Grand Challenges program in the future.

About SomaLogic
SomaLogic, Inc., is a privately held biomarker discovery and clinical diagnostics company based in Boulder, Colorado. The company’s mission is to use its proprietary proteomic technology to develop enhanced protein analysis tools and reagents for the life sciences community, to facilitate biomarker discovery and validation for diagnostic and therapeutic applications, and to develop and commercialize clinical diagnostic products that will improve the delivery of healthcare by offering timely and accurate diagnostic information to physicians and their patients. Further information about SomaLogic can be found at www.somalogic.com.

About SOMAscan™/SOMAmers™
SomaLogic’s proprietary SOMAscan™ proteomic technology platform underlies a rapidly growing number of new diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities. The power of the SOMAscan platform comes from its use of a new generation of nucleic acid-based protein-binding reagents, called SOMAmers™ (Slow Off-rate Modified Aptamers). The unique physical properties of SOMAmers empower the accurate detection and measurement of thousands of proteins over a large range of concentrations in just a few drops of blood (or other tissues), all in a single SOMAscan assay.


SomaLogic announces collaboration with Novartis

SomaLogic announces collaboration with Novartis

10/18/2011

SomaLogic Announces Research Agreement with Leading Global Pharmaceutical Company to Accelerate Pharmaceutical Discovery and Development

Powerful proteomic technology to be applied to biomarker discovery, target discovery and validation, and companion diagnostics

Boulder CO, October 18, 2011

SomaLogic, Inc., announced today that it has entered into a multi-year research agreement with Novartis to use its unique proprietary proteomics technology to accelerate Novartis’ drug discovery and development efforts.

“We are excited by this opportunity to work with Novartis’ world-class researchers to help them define robust biomarkers, validate novel drug targets, and even develop companion clinical diagnostics,” said Larry Gold, CEO of SomaLogic. “We believe that our technology is uniquely able to address the significant drug discovery and development challenges currently faced by biopharmaceutical companies.”

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

SomaLogic’s proprietary proteomic platform is built on two decades of painstaking work to develop an entirely new generation of specific protein-binding reagents that would break open protein biomarker discovery and development in order to drive new diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities. At the heart of SomaLogic’s technology are “SOMAmers” (Slow-Offrate Modified Aptamers), an entirely novel class of protein-binding reagents. SOMAmers offer a uniquely powerful combination of specific binding to individual proteins and facile nucleic acid-based quantification, allowing accurate detection and measurement of literally thousands of proteins over a vast range of concentrations in just a few drops of blood or other tissues.


SomaLogic and New England Biolabs Agree on SOMAmer Use in PCR Products

SomaLogic and New England Biolabs Agree on SOMAmer Use in PCR Products

7/27/2011

 

Agreement between SomaLogic and New England Biolabs enables the use of SOMAmer technology for the optimization of multiple PCR products

Unique SOMAmer protein-binding properties enable greater precision and reliability in PCR-based laboratory assays

Boulder CO and Ipswich MA, July 27, 2011

SomaLogic, Inc. and New England Biolabs, Inc. (NEB) announced today that they have entered into an exclusive licensing agreement whereby SomaLogic will provide specific SOMAmers as critical and unique reagents in several current and future NEB nucleic acid amplification and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products.

SOMAmers are specific protein binding reagents based on chemically modified “aptamers,” or short single-stranded nucleic acids. Although SOMAmers have nearly unlimited potential in many different proteomic applications (e.g., biomarker discovery and validation, clinical diagnostics, drug discovery and development), NEB is incorporating specific SOMAmers into their products as reversible inhibitors of thermally active DNA polymerases used in PCR (e.g., NEB’s OneTaqTM Hot Start DNA Polymerase).

“We are delighted that our colleagues at New England Biolabs see the utility of SOMAmers in enhancing and differentiating their outstanding laboratory solutions from their many competitors,” said Nebojsa Janjic, Chief Science Officer of SomaLogic. “We look forward to working with them to further explore and apply the distinct advantages of our powerful technology in research laboratory settings.”

“There are many opportunities to further enhance the performance of thermally active DNA polymerases in PCR reactions,” states Dr. Salvatore Russello, Associate Director of Business Development at NEB. “This agreement is thus of great value to NEB, and is already being used to improve the application of DNA polymerases, such as OneTaq Hot Start.”

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

 


SomaLogic publishes papers describing biomarker technology, application to lung cancer

SomaLogic publishes papers describing biomarker technology, application to lung cancer

12/7/2010

 

SomaLogic researchers describe revolutionary new approach to protein analysis and application to early diagnosis of lung cancer

Methodology potentially broadly applicable across diseases, leading to truly personalized medicine

Boulder CO, December 7, 2010

Even with astounding advances in genomic science, genetic analysis of disease remains largely a measure of risk rather than actual disease state. A truer and more immediate measure of health can be obtained by analysis of proteins, especially those that are “biomarkers” of disease state. Until now, proteomic technologies have lacked the sensitivity, scale, and robustness to untangle the vast differences in protein types and concentration levels that underlie complex human biology and disease. In two papers published on December 7 in the open-access scientific journal PLoS One, researchers at SomaLogic, Inc., and their collaborators describe a revolutionary new approach to biomarker detection and demonstrate its potential diagnostic power in a large-scale study that identifies a panel of biomarkers that can detect lung cancer in its early – and treatable – stages.

“Personalized medicine has to be more than prediction of risk for disease, it has to be actionable; what is the person’s state of health at this moment? To determine that you have to understand what proteins are being made, and at what concentrations, even at very low levels,” said Larry Gold, Founder, Chairman and CEO of SomaLogic. “This has proven to be a difficult task, but we believe we have succeeded at finding a way to entirely transform protein-based diagnostics and help drive the realization of personalized medicine in this decade.”

SomaLogic’s proteomic technology is built on two decades of painstaking work to corral aptamers – short stretches of nucleic acids that form protein-binding three-dimensional structures – into performing exquisitely specific recognition and binding of proteins. Through a series of chemical modifications of the nucleic acids that make up the aptamer, SomaLogic scientists were able to develop a next generation of aptamers – renamed “SOMAmers” to reflect their increased abilities — that together can bind proteins of widely diverse types and concentrations. And because SOMAmers are essentially small bits of DNA, current DNA measurement technologies like microarrays can be used to measure them and provide a readout of protein or biomarker types and concentrations in a fast and simple analysis. This powerful combination – specific binding to individual proteins and DNA-based quantification – allows the researchers to accurately detect and measure literally a thousand proteins in as little as a few drops of blood in a single experiment. The first PLoS One paper describes this breakthrough technology in detail, and demonstrates its power through application to samples from patients with chronic kidney disease, finding not only known markers of the disease but many previously unknown protein biomarkers.

“Today, single protein biomarkers are the foundation of clinical diagnostics: but both normal and disease biology is far more complex than a single measurement can capture: We need to look at multiple biomarkers, or a ‘signature’ of proteins, that is truly revealing about health and disease at that moment,” said Steve Williams, Chief Medical Officer of SomaLogic. “The SOMAmer technology empowers us for the first time to measure real biology in a clinically meaningful way.”

In the second PLoS One paper, SomaLogic researchers and their collaborators at multiple sites describe the application of SOMAmers at large scale, uncovering a panel of biomarkers that announce the presence of lung cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths, mostly because it is detected under current technologies only at its latest stages. By applying SOMAmer technology to over 1300 clinical samples, the researchers rapidly identified a panel or “signature” of 12 proteins that together accurately reveal the presence of lung cancer in at-risk patients (e.g., long-term smokers). This finding is the basis for a new diagnostic test under development for clinical application in the next year.

“By being able to detect lung cancer early, we finally have a tool to reduce the morbidity and mortality of this deadly disease with successful surgical intervention,” said William Rom, Professor of Medicine and Environmental Medicine at NYU School of Medicine and a collaborator on the lung cancer study. “In addition, we can avoid unnecessary treatments in patients who have a lung nodule on CT scan, but which is actually not cancer as revealed by this test.”

SomaLogic’s scalable, flexible and robust SOMAmer-based technology is already being applied to a series of different cancers, as well as infectious, inherited, neurological and metabolic diseases that could be more effectively treated if detected early. It also holds great potential for basic research into cellular biology as well as potential therapeutic applications.

Gold, L., et al. (2010). “Aptamer-based multiplexed proteomic technology for biomarker discovery,” PLoS One. Available online at http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0015004

Ostroff, R. et al. (2010). “Unlocking biomarker discovery: Large scale application of aptamer proteomic technology for early detection of lung cancer.” PLoS One. Available online at http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0015003


Emerald and SomaLogic announce collaboration to image SOMAmer-protein complexes

Emerald and SomaLogic announce collaboration to image SOMAmer-protein complexes

9/3/2010

 

Emerald BioStructures and SomaLogic Enter Strategic Collaboration

Emerald to Apply its X-ray Crystallography Platform to SOMAmer-Target Complexes

Bainbridge Island WA and Boulder CO, September 3, 2010

Emerald BioStructures, a leading provider of integrated structural biology services, and SomaLogic, Inc., a diagnostics and biomarker discovery company, today announced that they have entered into a strategic collaboration for the structure-based design of chemically modified DNA aptamers (“SOMAmers”) and small molecule therapeutics, based on crystal structures of important protein targets bound to high affinity SOMAmers. The research collaboration will leverage Emerald’s high-throughput X-ray crystallography expertise with SomaLogic’s proprietary SOMAmer technology. The characterized SOMAmers, due to their exquisite affinity for protein drug targets, will have a broad range of potential uses in diagnostics and pharmaceutical research and development.

“Emerald BioStructures has a world-class track record in structure determination of complex protein-nucleic acid assemblies. As such, Emerald is the ideal partner for elucidating the secrets of multiple SOMAmer-target structures,” said Nebojsa Janjic, Chief Science Officer of SomaLogic. “Emerald’s structural insights will drive rapid optimization of new SOMAmers for both diagnostics and drug discovery.”

This multi-target, multi-year collaboration builds on a successful collaborative achievement between the two companies in 2009, which led to the unravelling of the first X-ray structure of a novel, high-value SOMAmer bound to its protein target. “This structure allowed us to see for the first time several novel structural themes that can be achieved with SOMAmer technology, which explains the very high affinity and unique properties of our chemically modified DNA aptamers for their protein targets,” noted Larry Gold, Chief Executive Officer of SomaLogic. “Our ongoing relationship with Emerald gives us the advantage of structural insight to design improved SOMAmers for both diagnostic and drug discovery applications.”

Lance Stewart, Chief Executive Officer of Emerald BioStructures, said, ” Emerald has a track record of investing in technology developments that help unlock structural insights into allosteric mechanisms in high value protein targets. SomaLogic’s powerful aptamer reagents are having a great impact in the field of biomarker discovery and diagnostics. We are confident that the elucidation of SOMAmers bound to their protein targets will enable structure-guided design of novel small molecule modulators of protein structure.” Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the collaboration will support work on multiple targets.

 


SomaLogic and Otsuka launch research collaboration on target validation, diagnostics

SomaLogic and Otsuka launch research collaboration on target validation, diagnostics

5/9/2008

 

SomaLogic and Otsuka Enter into Research Collaboration Focusing On Diagnostic Products and Target Validation

Boulder CO, May 9, 2008

SomaLogic, Inc. announced today that SomaLogic and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. entered into a collaboration agreement to use SomaLogic’s proprietary aptamer technology to discover and develop novel diagnostic products and to design research tools that will enhance Otsuka’s pharmaceutical discovery and development efforts. Under the terms of the agreement, SomaLogic will receive committed research funding and will be entitled to receive a royalty on any marketed products developed as a result of the collaboration. Otsuka also received an option to acquire distribution rights in Asia for certain SomaLogic clinical diagnostics products. In addition, SomaLogic received an equity investment from Otsuka. Other financial terms were not disclosed.

SomaLogic has generated novel aptamers that target over 500 human proteins. These aptamers have very high affinity and specificity. As part of this collaboration, Otsuka will have access to this growing resource for target validation, drug screening and other assays to accelerate their development of new therapeutics. In addition, Otsuka will have access to SomaLogic’s highly multiplexed proteomic arrays to facilitate the discovery and monitoring of biomarkers in support of Otsuka’s clinical programs and therapeutic products.

“We are very pleased to have Otsuka as a collaborator,” stated Dr. Larry Gold, CEO of SomaLogic. “Otsuka’s broad vision for global healthcare will help us achieve our goal of using aptamer technology to transform medicine. Otsuka believes deeply in the SomaLogic paradigm through which early detection and proper diagnosis of disease leads to both pharmaceutical and nutritional intervention and better health.”