Ghent, Belgium, 19th May 2010 – Pronota, the Belgian developer of protein biomarker diagnostics, announced today its successful proof of concept of a novel, diagnostic platform. The company reports the first Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) application to identify and quantify proteins.
The advent of Next Generation Sequencing technology established a novel reference in nucleotide sequencing. Processing hundreds of thousands to millions of DNA molecules in parallel enabled a broad range of biological applications, from whole genome sequencing to transcript profiling.
Attracted by the unique analytical capabilities of NGS we have proven it could also be applied beyond the sequencing of DNA and RNA. Together with academic researchers from the UK and Belgium, Pronota combined NGS with aptamer1 technology. This novel concept relies on the understanding that aptamers can both capture the identity as well as quantitative information of an analyte (proteins, small molecules, cells…). This information can then easily be decoded by quantitative sequencing of the analyte-bound aptamers. Using this approach, Pronota was able to translate serum Immunoglobulin E levels into aptamer counts, demonstrating the potential of this method as a nucleotide sequencing-based protein biomarker discovery and diagnostics platform.
Commenting on the development, the subject of filed patent applications, Dr Koen Kas, founder and CSO of Pronota said: “This is a transformational milestone in the merging of genomics and proteomics. With this exploratory research we believe we have established some of the corner stones of a novel paradigm, which will allow us and others to build on this idea. The intrinsic ability of aptamer sequencing to detect and quantify proteins in a highly multiplexed fashion, together with the prospect of DNA sequencing further evolving into a commodity technology, could result in the most versatile diagnostics platform known”.
The novel concept will be presented during a talk at Knowledge for Growth, the annual life sciences convention in Ghent, Belgium, taking place on May 20, 2010.