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|Atheris Discovery - Venoms to drugs Venoms database Lead discovery Early development Biomarkers|
Atheris offers its biomarker discovery, validation and quantification expertise to pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies for prognosis, diagnosis and for the follow-up of a medical treatment (profiling).
Peptidomics - PPMF
Wind Of Change
Mass spectrometric technologies aiming at the discovery of protein biomarkers have been emerging at a rapid rate over the last two decades. Only recently the focus of proteomic approaches was laid on the low molecular fraction of plasma and new so-called peptidomic techniques were developed for this pool of potential biomarkers.
Our label-free differential approach, which we refer to as PPMF (peptide and protein mass fingerprints) has been developped in order to offer a robust and validated method for biomarker discovery and profiling starting with a small number of samples. Again, our strategy is transversal and complementary to conventional approaches.
While classical proteomics involves reduction-alkylation-proteolysis coupled to 2D-SDS-PAGE, off-gel or 2D-LC separation techniques with MS and MS/MS analysis and automated database matching for protein identification, PPMF involves the following features:
Furthermore, our approach offers new analytical opportunitites in the frame of a medical treatment or during drug development. Profiling of the intact peptide and protein fingerprints over time for one patient can be achieved. Even if no specific biomarker is followed, this allows to highlight those signals that evolve over time.
This does not only allow to identifiy novel biomarkers, representative of a reaction to a condition. It is also of particular interest to follow-up a medical state, especially with the emerging personalized medicines. We believe that our technology will have major impact to assess the putative sensitivity of individuals to different options for medical treatments.
For each identified biomarker that is found relevant, specific bioassays are developed, optimized and validated for a reliable, cost- and time-effective follow-up. Since mass spectrometry was used to identify the biomarker, LC-MS and LC-MS/MS methods are usually well suited, and we use our expertise in the field to this end, typically based on FDA standards.
The relevance of identified biomarker candidates is first evaluated in silico, to evaluate if the corresponding molecule has a known link to the disease or not yet. Bioassays are then developped and validated (see above). The last step, which often is the most challenging, consists in the validation of the biomarker on large sets of samples, in different biological matrices. The biomarker has to be specific to the disease when compared to healthy samples, but its specificity versus other pathologies (which can sometimes be closely related) and versus different types of medical treatments (a biomarker can be induced by another drug used to treat other problems) remains a major challenge.
Newly discovered biomarkers are then used to develop and validate clinical assays for prognosis, for diagnosis and for the follow-up of medical treatments.