Academic collaborators present findings from use of SOMAscan for cancer biomarker discovery

Academic collaborators present findings from use of SOMAscan for cancer biomarker discovery

4/3/2013

Academic scientists from major biomedical research institutions came together on March 25, 2013, to describe how they have applied SOMAscan to their efforts to find disease biomarkers in several types of cancer. The archived webinar is now available for viewing (following registration).

Together with collaborators from both the private and public sectors, SomaLogic scientists have analyzed the proteomics of >8000 blood and tumor tissue samples to discover diagnostic, prognostic and mechanistic biomarkers of malignancy. The web symposium covers part of that work, and features presentations by Harvey Pass, M.D. (New York University  – malignant mesothelioma), Geoff Baird, M.D., Ph.D. (University of Washington, Seattle – lung cancer tissue proteomics), and Randall Brand, M.D. (University of Pittsburgh — pancreatic cancer).


CU-Boulder renames bioscience building in honor of Larry Gold

CU-Boulder renames bioscience building in honor of Larry Gold

2/1/2013

 

On February 1, 2012, the University of Colorado Boulder renamed its MCDB (Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology) building the “Gold Bioscience Building” in honor of SomaLogic CEO and Chairman Larry Gold.

Gold has taught at CU-Boulder since 1970, and served as chair of the MCDB department from 1988 to 1992, laying the groundwork for the building that now bears his name, which opened in 1995. He has also launched several successful biotech companies, and received numerous awards for his teaching and his research (full bio here).

“I would like this building to be a place in which great science is done by great faculty with great students and post-docs and others,” Gold said at the renaming ceremony. “I suggest that in this building, named after me today as a beautiful gift, you must ask yourselves ‘why am I doing this and what benefit will people gain from my work.’”

 


SomaLogic and Emerald Bio publish first crystal structure of a SOMAmer bound to its target

SomaLogic and Emerald Bio publish first crystal structure of a SOMAmer bound to its target

11/5/2012

Bedford MA and Boulder CO – November 5, 2012

The molecular structure of a SOMAmer (Slow Off-rate Modified Aptamer) reagent bound to its specific protein has been revealed for the first time by a team of scientists from Emerald Bio and SomaLogic in a manuscript published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). Their analyses demonstrate the molecular basis for the vast improvement in protein binding by SOMAmers as compared to traditional aptamers, emphasizing that SOMAmers represent an entirely new class of molecular “affinity reagents” with multiple useful applications in life sciences and medicine.

“The structure of a SOMAmer bound to platelet-derived growth factor B (PDGF-BB) is only the first ‘glimpse’ into the astonishing array of novel molecular shapes that can be achieved by the SOMAmer technology” said Doug Davies, Senior Project Leader at Emerald Bio.  “And it potentially represents an entirely new approach for studying and crystallizing difficult proteins.”

SOMAmers are based on traditional aptamers, short single strands of nucleic acids with specific folded shapes that can bind proteins and other biomolecules. However, the nucleotides used to make SOMAmers are modified by the addition of protein-like “side-chains” to the nucleotide bases themselves, which exponentially increases the number of unique shapes, as well as the binding affinity and specificity of each SOMAmer for its particular protein target.

“We have already demonstrated the huge advantages of SOMAmers for expanding the range of protein targets previously inaccessible to traditional aptamers. The current study with our colleagues at Emerald has now provided us with a clear structural basis of those advantages at a molecular level” said Nebojsa Janjic, Chief Science Officer of SomaLogic. “This work is a compelling demonstration of the enormous potential of SOMAmers as both diagnostic reagents and therapeutics.”

SomaLogic has developed more than 1500 SOMAmer reagents to date, with over 1100 of those already being used (in a multiplex assay called “SOMAscan™”) in biomarker discovery, drug discovery and development, and life sciences. In addition, several individual SOMAmers are under development as potential therapeutic molecules in their own right.  These applications are underway both at SomaLogic and in partnership with leading biopharmaceutical and clinical diagnostic companies.

Several other SOMAmer-protein pair structures have been analyzed in addition to the SOMAmer — PDGF-BB structure described in the PNAS article published today, all demonstrating the unique properties and utility of this new class of binding reagent.

The PNAS article, entitled “Unique Motifs and Hydrophobic Interactions Shape the Binding of Modified DNA Ligands to Proteins Targets” by D.R. Davies et al., will be published the week of November 5, 2012. Once published, the entire manuscript can be accessed at: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1213933109.

About Emerald Bio
Emerald Bio is a contract research organization that provides collaborative drug discovery services to pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, academic institutions, and government facilities.  Emerald is developing new technologies to study difficult proteins including the engineered expression, protein production and crystal structure determination of GPCRs and integral membrane proteins. The company operates a high-throughput platform leveraged for fragment-based lead discovery and structure-based drug design.

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 http://test.somalogic.wpengine.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 wide range of concentrations in small volumes of biological samples, all in a single SOMAscan assay.


Discovery and validation of a blood-based protein signature for early detection of mesothelioma

Discovery and validation of a blood-based protein signature for early detection of mesothelioma

10/3/2012

A multi-institute team of researchers led by scientists at the NYU Langone Medical Center and SomaLogic, Inc., announced today the discovery and validation of a panel of 13 blood-based protein biomarkers that can detect malignant mesothelioma in even the early stages of this rare but deadly cancer. The work, which is based on a new protein measurement technology developed by SomaLogic, is published today in the open-access scientific journal PLOS ONE.

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive lung cancer that can develop several decades after exposure to asbestos. Because it is difficult to diagnose, the majority of cases are not discovered until the disease is far advanced, which results in poor prognosis and limited treatment options. The research described in the PLOS ONE study is aimed at finding a non-invasive test to improve mesothelioma surveillance and detection in high-risk (i.e., asbestos-exposed) patients.  By examining the differences in concentrations in over 1000 proteins in the blood of mesothelioma patients as compared to asbestos-exposed individuals without mesothelioma, the researchers were able to identify a “signature” of 13 specific protein changes that, taken together, indicate the presence of the disease even in early stages.

“The development of  a sensitive and specific serum test for mesothelioma would have an immense impact on the quality and quantity of life for those individuals who have been exposed to asbestos, who are living in uncertainty about whether or not they will develop this devastating disease,” said Dr. Harvey Pass, the Stephen E. Banner Professor of Thoracic Oncology, vice chair of research for the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and division chief of General Thoracic Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center,  and senior author of the PLoS ONE study. “We believe this work is a critical step towards the availability of such a test.”

To find the signature of 13 proteins that indicate the presence of mesothelioma, the researchers applied a new proteomics technology called “SOMAscan™” (see “About” below) that allowed them to widely survey the blood-based protein landscape to find particular changes that indicate the presence of the disease. Unlike genomic studies, blood-based proteins provide a real-time “snapshot” of an individual’s state of health and offer the possibility of detecting a variety of diseases and conditions long before the individual experiences clinical symptoms. However, the fast, accurate and cost-effective measurement of the thousands of proteins that exist in the blood across many different concentrations to find the specific changes of interest has only recently become possible with the availability of the SOMAscan technology.

“We are excited about the application of our SOMAscan assay to this critical, unmet medical need, and have been delighted to work with such accomplished and dedicated researchers and clinicians,” said Dr. Rachel Ostroff, Clinical Research Director at SomaLogic and co-first author of the PLoS ONE study. “We are committed to continuing this important collaboration with Dr. Pass and his colleagues, and expanded studies with more patients are already underway.”

Other contributors to this work include researchers from Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York, the Libby MT Center for Asbestos Related Diseases, the Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit, and the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii in Honolulu. The full manuscript is available for viewing and download at http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0046091.


SomaLogic scientists publish protein biomarker analysis of lung cancer

SomaLogic scientists publish protein biomarker analysis of lung cancer

4/11/2012

 

SomaLogic publishes proteomic biomarker analysis of lung cancer tissue samples

SOMAscan™ technology identifies significant protein expression level differences in tumors vs. adjacent non-cancerous tissue, confirming known biomarkers and discovering new ones

Boulder, CO – April 11, 2012

In a scientific paper published today in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers from SomaLogic and the University of Washington in Seattle describe the first application of the SOMAscanTM proteomic assay technology to tissue samples. Working with both tumor and non-cancerous lung samples from patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), they identified significant expression changes in 36 proteins, including 13 proteins not previously associated with the disease. These findings reveal significant new information about the biology underlying NSCLC, and have implications for improving early diagnosis and treatment.

“Early detection of NSCLC can dramatically improve the prognosis for patients with the disease, as has been shown recently through the use of CT-scans in a high-risk population of heavy smokers,” said Sheri Wilcox, Ph.D., Director of Discovery Sciences at SomaLogic. “However, this approach has a high false-positive rate, which can result in overdiagnosis and unnecessary treatment. We set out to find additional molecular ‘biomarkers’ that would help guide both the use of imaging techniques as well as choosing appropriate treatments.”

In their study, the researchers found 36 protein biomarkers that showed significant expression differences between the tumor tissue and non-cancerous lung tissue samples taken from the same patients. These potential biomarkers were discovered by simultaneously measuring the expression levels of 820 different proteins in all samples examined, using SomaLogic’s SOMAscan proteomic assay. Of these 36 potential biomarkers, thirteen had not previously been associated with NSCLC, providing new biological insights into the disease as well as suggesting potential new therapeutic targets.

In addition to the NSCLC protein biomarker discovery, the scientists also demonstrate the utility of the protein-binding reagents used in SOMAscan for direct visualization of protein expression in tissue sections using standard histopathology techniques. SOMAmer (Slow Off-rate Modified Aptamer) binding reagents bind their respective proteins in a manner similar to—and as effective as—antibodies, but unlike antibodies they can be used in highly multiplexed applications to look at expression differences across thousands of proteins in a single experiment. And as demonstrated in the PLoS ONE paper, SOMAmers can also be used as individual tissue probing agents for pathology studies.

The paper is available at http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0035157.

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.wpengine.com.

About SOMAscan™/SOMAmer™
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 SOMAmer™ (Slow Off-rate Modified Aptamer) reagents. The unique physical properties of SOMAmers empower the accurate detection and measurement of greater than one thousand proteins to date over a large range of concentrations in a small volume of sample, all in a single SOMAscan assay.

Contact:
Fintan R. Steele, Ph.D.
Executive Director of Communications
SomaLogic, Inc.
Phone: 720-214-3080
Email: fsteele@somalogic.com


SomaLogic and HUNT Biosciences announce CV collaboration

SomaLogic and HUNT Biosciences announce CV collaboration

4/10/2012

 

HUNT Biosciences and SomaLogic announce collaboration to validate protein biomarkers of cardiovascular risk

Levanger, Norway and Boulder, CO, USA – April 10, 2012

HUNT Biosciences and SomaLogic, Inc., today announced a new collaboration to advance the clinical use of protein biomarkers, with an initial focus on the validation of biomarkers for the prediction of cardiovascular events such as strokes, heart attacks, and heart failure.

The collaboration will analyze biological samples and clinical data from HUNT Biosciences using SomaLogic’s unique SOMAscan™ proteomic technology. HUNT Biosciences will work with SomaLogic to select and supply samples and accompanying clinical data and selected phenotype information from up to 2000 of the more than 100 000 participants in the large HUNT health study.

“We believe the HUNT health study offers samples and data that will help identify and validate protein biomarkers of high clinical significance,” said Dr. Per A. Foss, CEO of HUNT Biosciences. “SomaLogic has a promising technology and the company shares our vision of the importance of biomarkers to improve healthcare. We believe this collaboration has a significant potential and could be extended to include other medical conditions that will benefit from the discovery and use of well-documented biomarkers”.

“We are delighted to work with HUNT biosciences to develop new diagnostic tools that predict cardiovascular risk,” said Stephen Williams, Chief Medical Officer of SomaLogic. “The clinical sample cohort available through the HUNT health study is among the broadest in the world, and we believe that our technology is uniquely capable of deriving new clinical insights from those samples that can lead to new diagnostics and acceleration of drug discovery and development efforts to the benefit of patients everywhere.”

About HUNT Biosciences
HUNT Biosciences AS (www.huntbiosciences.com) is the commercial arm of HUNT Research Centre. HUNT Biosciences was established in 2007 in order to offer a professional interface with industry and facilitate commercial use of HUNT data and samples, without compromising the trust of the donor population. HUNT Biosciences is a public company owned by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), the Central Norway Regional Health Authority and the North Trøndelag County.

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.wpengine.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 wide range of concentrations in just a few drops of blood (or other tissues), all in a single SOMAscan assay.

For further information please contact:

HUNT Biosciences AS:
Per A. Foss: CEO
E-mail: per.a.foss@huntbiosciences.com
Phone: +47 951 24 048

SomaLogic, Inc.
Fintan R. Steele, Ph.D.
Executive Director of Communications
Email: fsteele@somalogic.com
Phone: +1 720-214-3080