Proteome Sciences (www.proteomics.com) recently concluded a worldwide licensing deal for its Tandem Mass Tag (TMT®) technology with Thermo Fisher Scientific (www.thermofisher.com). The agreement came just a few months after the firm received broad U.S., European, Australian, and Canadian patents covering the isobaric tandem mass tagging concept and the TMT product family.
By relying on Thermo Fisher’s sales channels for volume catalog products, Proteome Sciences says that it will be able to focus on custom-labeling services and products.
Isobaric tandem mass tagging is a reproducible, highly accurate method that allows both comparative and absolute MS/MS-based quantitation of proteins and peptides in biological samples. Allowing the evaluation of differential protein expression in up to six samples in a single experiment, the technology is set to shake-up the quantitative analysis of proteins for biomarker research and applications, according to Ian Pike, Ph.D., CBO.
In 2002, the company acquired Xzillion, which held the basic isobaric tandem mass tagging IP and expertise. This take-over gave Proteome Sciences a dedicated proteomics facility in Frankfurt, which is responsible for ISO-certified production of the TMT products.
The TMT technology has been developed as part of the company’s ProteoShop® toolbox of gel-based and gel-free proteomics technologies. The range of products and services include 1-D/2-D separation, gel-free separation with isobaric/isotopic tagging, mass spectrometry including LC/MS/MS and MALDI-TOF-TOF, bioinformatics, and assay development including both immunoassays and mass-spectrometry methods.
Proteome Sciences aims to leverage the TMT technology in a number of ways, comments Dr. Pike. “The most immediate source of TMT-derived revenues will no doubt be from the licensing deal we just signed with Thermo Fisher Scientific for the worldwide distribution and marketing of TMT reagents.”
“We are also using the TMTs internally for biomarker discovery, validation, and assay-development projects in partnership with clients. We anticipate seeing a rapid growth in the industry’s drive to develop companion-diagnostics or theranostics. The potential of biomarkers to improve the development and use of new medicines is being increasingly recognized by industry, regulators, clinicians, and patients,” Dr. Pike notes.
The company’s in-house research is focused on the discovery and commercialization of biomarkers for the CNS field. In particular, the firm concentrates on Alzheimer’s disease and stroke, areas in which Proteome Sciences has already out-licensed several markers to major players in the diagnostics sector.