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Applied Biosystems broadens labelling chemistry reagents range for proteomics researchers

Applied Biosystems : 07 February, 2008  (New Product)
Applied Biosystems has expanded its range of labelling chemistry reagents used for proteomics research in academic and biopharmaceutical laboratories.
The new 8plex version of Applied Biosystems’ iTRAQ reagents is designed to double the existing capacity for discovering proteins and comparing protein levels between biological samples that support Biomarker discovery. Among the organizations that are using these reagents as part of an early access program are Biogen Idec and BG Medicine.

The increased capacity enabled by the new iTRAQ reagents gives researchers the ability to obtain higher throughput and more efficiency in conducting their Biomarker discovery than label-free methods or other approaches using reagents with more limited multiplexing capacity.

The discovery of biomarkers to better understand diseases requires large numbers of sample sets on precise experimental systems. With the new reagents for simultaneous comparison or multiplexing of samples, experiments that might otherwise take months with other methods can be completed with better accuracy in a matter of days or weeks.

The new reagents are intended to make the process of Biomarker discovery more productive and to increase the scale of experiments conducted by research laboratories. For instance, researchers at Biogen Idec are engaged in Biomarker research from early drug development research to the clinical stage of development.

The iTRAQ reagents enabled the researchers to quantify thousands of proteins from as many as eight different samples at the same time. The new reagents also helped Biogen Idec conduct more effective tests to quantify low abundant proteins in complex mixtures, providing a better understanding of the biology.

“Accuracy of quantitation is extremely important as we proceed through our workflow of Biomarker discovery, verification and validation,” said Jing Wei, a senior scientist in the drug discovery department at Biogen Idec. “The 8plex iTRAQ reagent is an important addition to our existing platform, significantly improving throughput and quantitation to generate high-confidence Biomarker candidates. It speeds up the discovery process, which allows us to move forward more quickly to validation with potential use in the clinic.”

Another organization taking advantage of the increased efficiency is BG Medicine, which has been successfully using iTRAQ reagents for three years in its quantitative proteomics efforts to discover biomarkers of drug efficacy, adverse drug effects and disease burdens through analysing large numbers of patient samples. BG Medicine is now transitioning to the new 8plex version of iTRAQ reagents to increase the throughput of its data production pipeline.

“Large-scale Biomarker studies are crucial for accelerating the fulfillment of the promise of proteomics to gain invaluable insight into how diseases emerge, progress and could potentially be treated in the future,” said Peter Juhasz, vice president of bioanalytical technologies at BG Medicine. “Now having twice the multiplexing capacity with 8plex gives us an opportunity to improve Biomarker study designs for more precise quantitation while saving costs in project execution.”

Applied Biosystems is a global leader in the development and commercialisation of instrument-based systems, consumables, software, and services for the life science market, including proteomics research. In order to obtain the relative and absolute quantitation of the proteins needed for this research, iTRAQ reagents use chemical tags to label each sample in an experiment.

The labelled samples are run through a mass spectrometry instrument for bioanalytical analysis to first identify proteins and then gauge the protein expression of diseased and control samples. The original 4plex version of iTRAQ reagents has been highlighted in more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals. With the introduction of 8plex reagents, researchers can efficiently expand their quantitative proteomic experiments to study eight samples simultaneously within a single experiment.

“Academic and biopharmaceutical researchers have the opportunity to build upon the success of Biomarker discovery research by improving the way they conduct comparative proteomic experiments going forward,” said Charles Purtell, senior director for Applied Biosystems’ consumables business within the proteomics and small molecule division. “Applied Biosystems is delivering new tools for proteomics researchers to identify and quantify more proteins of interest with improved statistical confidence and more quickly than existing approaches.”
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