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Based on a unique technology developed by A*STAR Singapore, these inventive and easy-to-use kits are versatile, effective and quick in the screening for modulators of protein-DNA interactions, as well as quality control (QC) analysis of transcription factor production.
The Biofactory, a leading innovator in incubating biomedical and life sciences related technologies, introduced today its ColoQuik™ line of label-free kits for the rapid colorimetric detection of protein-DNA interactions in biomedical research labs and the pharmaceutical industry. These kits are based on technology licensed from the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), a research institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore's lead government agency for fostering world-class scientific research. The Biofactory has three kits in its pipeline, each customized for the assessment of a well-known transcription factor in cancer: ERα, ERβ, and p53.
The ColoQuik™ kits will be particularly suited for pharmaceutical companies or academic researchers who require tools for the analysis of protein-DNA interactions at a higher level of throughput. ColoQuik™ kits will find strong utility in primary screens for drugs that can modulate protein-DNA interactions, or in QC analyses of purified DNA-binding proteins based on their DNA-binding capacities.
Conventional techniques for the analysis of protein-DNA interactions tend to pose numerous restrictions and drawbacks upon their users in terms of assay time, expense and throughput. Some methods can involve extensive protocol optimization and materials preparation, with tedious procedures lasting as long as 2 days. Others necessitate tagging of the DNA with radioactive isotopes prior to running the test, which can result in safety and environmental issues. Label-free assays for academia or industry have typically involved hardware and software costs, which limit their utility for primary drug screening.
In comparison, users will find ColoQuik™ assays much easier to use. These tests require only a half-hour to complete on average, and allow for instant visual detection of reagent colour changes based on the quality and affinity of binding between a protein and a specified DNA sequence. The test does not require radioactive or fluorescent labeling of DNA which leads to significant time and cost savings on preparatory work. ColoQuik™ tests require only standard equipment such as microplate absorbance readers for semi-quantitative readouts. As such, these kits are amenable to high-throughput drug discovery applications and batch functional analysis of transcription factor production.
The key technology in the kits is the custom-made, nanometer-sized metal particles created at A*STAR's IMRE. The particles act as probes which give off different colours depending on the specific protein-DNA combinations that are formed in the nanoparticle solution. "These kits offer the easiest and fastest ways to date for scientists to analyse a particular DNA binding protein for its impact on the gene transcription mechanism of specific diseases," said Dr Su Xiaodi, the IMRE Senior Scientist who led the nanoparticle work.
The Biofactory has received beneficial technology assessments from leading scientists who have utilized the technology for their specific experiments. The Biofactory is in the process of manufacturing and marketing the kits to research institutions and pharmaceutical laboratories both in Singapore and around the world.
"The licensing of our materials technology for use in protein-DNA analysis is testament to the value of our research to industry. This development is also a prime example of cross-disciplinary research in action," said Prof Andy Hor, IMRE's Executive Director. "We look forward to seeing this revolutionary new technique being developed further to aid in advancing global healthcare."
"The Biofactory is honoured to be part of the commercialization process. With our expertise in product and business development, we will continue to guide other Singapore-based biomedical innovations towards market success," said Theodore Tan, Managing Director of The Biofactory.
The ColoQuik™ kits will be introduced at this year's MEDICA exhibition in Dusseldorf, Germany. For more product information or licensing enquiries, interested parties may visit thebiofactory.com/coloquik.
About The Biofactory Pte Ltd
The Biofactory is a biomedical incubator that catalyses the commercialisation of innovative technologies. With qualified professionals in a wide number of areas, the Biofactory has the technical expertise and experience to bring technologies to market at an accelerated pace. www.thebiofactory.com
About A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE)
The Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) is a research institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). The Institute has capabilities in materials analysis & characterization, design & growth, patterning & fabrication, as well as synthesis & integration. We house a range of state-of-the-art equipment for materials research including development, processing and characterization. IMRE conducts a wide range of research, which includes novel materials for sensors & transducers, consumer care, organic solar cells, photovoltaics, printed electronics, catalysis, bio-mimetics, microfluidics, quantum dots, heterostructures, sustainable materials and atom technology, among others. We collaborate actively with other research institutes, universities, public bodies, and a wide spectrum of industrial companies, both globally and locally. For more information about IMRE, please visit www.imre.a-star.edu.sg
About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore's lead public sector agency that fosters world-class scientific research and talent to drive economic growth and transform Singapore into a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation driven economy. In line with its mission-oriented mandate, A*STAR spearheads research and development in fields that are essential to growing Singapore’s manufacturing sector and catalysing new growth industries. A*STAR supports these economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. A*STAR oversees 20 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research entities, located in the Biopolis and Fusionopolis as well as their vicinity. These two R&D hubs house a bustling and diverse community of local and international research scientists and engineers from A*STAR’s research entities as well as a growing number of corporate laboratories. Please visit www.a-star.edu.sgfor more information.
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