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Digging into the proteome: Affibody, Agilent Technologies eye protein targets
STOCKHOLM, Sweden—Unlocking the secrets of the human proteome is the goal. Some of the keys to get those secrets into the open may rest at Swedish company Affibody AB, which along with Palo Alto, Calif.-based Agilent Technologies has entered into a cooperative agreement to develop advanced protein sample preparation solutions for human biomarker discovery.
Affibody will design and develop its proprietary Affibody ligands for specific protein targets that Agilent will designate—part of Agilent's corporate plans to expand its line of proteomic sample preparation products. At the end of the development phase of the agreement, Affibody will supply Agilent with production quantities of the materials.
Specifically, the affinity capture ligands will enable Agilent to expand its Multiple Affinity Removal System technology with new product configurations. These products, in turn, are expected to enable scientists involved in biomarker discovery from human serum and plasma to dig deeper into the serum proteome, with the end goal of discovering and identifying potential biomarkers that can be used for drug discovery, human disease diagnosis, monitoring of therapeutic intervention and prognosis determinations.
"By using the versatile Affibody ligands, we'll be offering our customers a tool to further refine the precision, certainty and reproducibility of proteomics analyses," says Mary Pat Knauss, business manager of Agilent's Bioreagents Products division. "The combination of this technology with our current protein fractionation and separation products will enable researchers to dive deeper into the serum/plasma proteome than ever before possible, enhancing their efforts to identify biological markers."
Affibody actually has two clear business divisions—Biotherapy and Biotechnology. Biotherapy is focused on targeting specific disease-associated proteins for therapeutic purposes and is the major thrust for the company, according to Torben Jørgensen, Affibody's chief executive officer. Bio-technology, on the other hand, under which drug discovery applications for Affibody's products would fall, is not the company's long-term primary focus, though it is growing in stature and profitability.