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Applied Biosystems and Olink Bioscience collaborate to develop PLA technology

Applied Biosystems : 01 October, 2007  (New Product)
Applied Biosystems has signed an exclusive license and collaboration agreement with Olink Bioscience to commercialise Olink’s proximity ligation assay (PLA) technology.

Under the agreement, Applied Biosystems will co-develop the PLA technology for specific applications in the life science research market that include Biomarker validation and characterization of complex biological processes.

PLA is a highly sensitive Assay that utilises two oligonucleotide-labelled antibodies, DNA ligation, and nucleic acid amplification to detect proteins, their modifications, and their interactions in limited samples.

Applied Biosystems believes the PLA technology will provide researchers with a novel method for protein analysis that combines antibodies for protein recognition with DNA amplification for analytical quantitation. The technique is expected to be applied to areas in which the correlation of gene expression and protein data can bring better understanding of biological processes.

As part of the co-development agreement, Applied Biosystems will develop products for in vitro - in a controlled environment - applications of PLA. These products will combine the protein detection features of the PLA method with the quantitative precision of TaqMan reagents on Applied Biosystems’ real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) systems. The utilisation of PLA technology should allow scientists to conduct protein expression studies using reagents and instruments for genotyping and gene expression analysis.

Compared to traditional methods such as western blot analysis, researchers are expected to be able to use significantly less biological sample to measure relative changes in expressed protein targets and achieve reproducible results with a more streamlined workflow and higher throughput. These are critical factors in stem cell biology and the characterization of targets for drug discovery research.

“Applied Biosystems’ collaboration with Olink Bioscience demonstrates our continued leadership in real-time PCR by combining the ease of TaqMan workflow with the sensitivity of the PLA technology to correlate gene expression and protein quantitation on the same platform,” said Peter Dansky, president of Applied Biosystems’ molecular and cell biology consumables division. “We believe this unique combination will accelerate our customers’ investigation of complex biology and better enable the study of gene expression and regulation at the protein level.”

The PLA method can also be embodied for in situ in natural state’ applications for direct detection in cells or tissues. For in situ applications, the PLA technology utilises two oligo-labelled antibodies and rolling circle amplification (RCA) with visualisation by Microscopy to offer a quantitative alternative to immunohistochemistry - a visualisation technique to localise target proteins in fixed samples. Unlike immunohistochemistry, the PLA technology enables researchers to better quantify the distribution and localisation of biological markers in different part of tissues, cell types or sub-cellular structures.

In this agreement, Olink retains rights to certain incarnations of the PLA technology including in situ applications in the life science research market, and all rights in the area of in vitro diagnostics. This includes Olink’s recently released the Duolink Reagent kit, a universal kit enabling the in situ detection of molecular interactions and fluorescence imaging.

“We believe Applied Biosystems is the ideal strategic partner to bring the PLA technology with its nucleic acid reporter system to the market on the real-time PCR platform,” said Bjorn Ekstrom, president and CEO, Olink Bioscience. “We believe with its unique attributes the PLA technology will become an essential tool for scientists involved in uncovering the finer details of the proteome, systems biology and disease detection.”
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