Pronota Launches Protein Biomarker Verification Platform

Antibody-free system reduces cost and time of quantitative protein assay development for screening low abundance biomarkers in blood

GHENT, Belgium; 26th March 2008 – Pronota nv, the Belgium-based biomarker discovery and development company, announced today the launch of MASSterclass™, its highly-sensitive protein biomarker verification tool, at the Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference in San Francisco.

The MASSterclass platform addresses a key bottleneck in biomarker development by enabling large-scale screening of biomarker candidates without the requirement to raise antibodies. The system raises the analytical bar for antibody-free protein assays by quantitating in the low nanogram per ml concentration range in blood plasma, thereby enabling efficient and reliable measurement of proteins specific to disease or drug response.

The system incorporates a novel series of orthogonal complexity reduction steps combined with targeted tandem mass spectrometry to achieve required sensitivity levels while maintaining analytical reproducibility. The workflow also ensures that throughput is maintained when screening large panels of biomarker candidates by multiplexing different analytes in the same assay.

The new platform complements MASStermind®, Pronota’s biomarker discovery platform capable of generating a high quality “hit list” of low-abundance protein biomarkers in blood. The combination of both platforms represents an integrated approach that significantly increases the chances of taking a biomarker from discovery through to clinical implementation within a practical timeframe.

“The introduction of MASSterclass represents an important milestone for Pronota”, commented Nick McCooke, CEO. “The platform allows Pronota and our partners to bridge the gap between biomarker discovery and the final clinical assay through the efficient assessment and selection of the most promising candidates with the best clinical performance either alone or combined in panels”.

The biomarker discovery platforms MASSterclass and MASStermind, with details of performance data and current applications, will be presented by Dr Huw Davies, Business Development Director, on 27th March at the Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference (10.15, Translational Medicine Track). Pronota will also be presenting two posters based on its biomarker discovery and verification platforms respectively at the Conference.

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About Pronota nv

Pronota NV is developing and commercialising next-generation protein biomarker discovery platforms to enable rapid identification of candidates for drug development, and diagnostic products for more accurate diagnosis and personalised treatment of disease. Pronota also offers contract proteomic research and development services and collaborative partnerships to the pharmaceutical and diagnostic industry. Capabilities include proteomic profiling, biomarker discovery, protease enzyme activity mapping and quantitative multiplex protein assay development without the requirement to raise antibodies.

Pronota was founded in August 2004 (previously known as Peakadilly) by the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) and Ghent University in Belgium. The Company has a portfolio of platform technology and product patents granted in the US, Europe and Canada. In 2006, Pronota raised €14.5m in a Series A round of financing supported by Life Science Partners (LSP), GIMV, Johnson and Johnson Development Corporation, KBC Private Equity, and Baekeland Fonds II. Over €3.5m has also been awarded in grants from the Flanders government with an additional €3m generated through proteomic partnerships with industry. Pronota is based in Ghent, Belgium and employs 28 people.

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