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Patent Awarded for Protein Biomarker Cancer Screening

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Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), a biomedical research institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Gentel Biosciences, a biotechnology company in Madison, Wisconsin received a patent for their process to  profile changes in proteins binding to antibodies in test arrays. This process can screen for biomarkers indicating early stages of cancer, including liver and pancreatic cancers that are not often detected until later stages or require aggressive therapies.

U.S. patent 7,838,634 covers a new method to profile changes in the glycosylation of proteins captured on the surface of an antibody array slide. Glycosylation is the addition of linear or branched sugar molecules to proteins. Van Andel and Gentel say many studies show that glycosylated variants of proteins can make better markers for early cancer detection.

The glycan detection technology will be combined with Gentel’s antibody array kits that target nearly 500 proteins and provide a proteomics workflow from screening to quantification. A patent for the technology is also pending in the European Union.

VARI conducted the original research on this process. Gentel first obtained commercialization rights to the technology in 2006.

Read More: University Spins Off Biomarker Targeting Company

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