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9 March, 2022 - 21:31 By Tony Quested

Swede dreams as Cambridge backs advance in proteomics

Cambridge scientists have tapped into a new proteomics platform launched in Sweden.

The Olink platform at the TATAA Biocenter serves the UK and international science and pharma communities with molecular lab services. 

Among the users, the collaboration partners say, is Claudia Langenberg – MRC Investigator and Programme Leader at the MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge which is working to improve the health of people in the UK and around the world.

Obesity, type 2 diabetes and related metabolic disorders present a major and growing global public health challenge. These disorders result from a complex interplay between genetic, developmental, behavioural and environmental factors that operate throughout life.

The mission of the Unit is to investigate the individual and combined effects of these factors and to develop and evaluate strategies to prevent these diseases and their consequences.

One of Claudia’s students – Julia Carrasco Sanini Sanchez – spoke at the launch of the Olink®Explore 3072 proteome profiling service in Gothernburg.
Claudia Langenberg herself has said: “I am very excited about investigating the value of this expanded coverage of the human plasma proteome for identifying and understanding the mechanisms of a broad range of rare and common diseases.”

Nasdaq-listed Olink Holding AB, based in Uppsala in Sweden, is collaborating with TATAA Biocenter – a leading European provider of molecular analysis services – in launching the profiling service.  

Mikael Kubista, founder, and CEO of TATAA Biocenter in Gothenburg said the platform was perfect to complement the organisation’s already optimised genomics and transcriptomics offerings and would prove “imperative in our services supporting the pharmaceutical industry.”

“We already offer workflow optimisations and validations including multiomics and with this new platform our capacity dramatically increases. TATAA Biocenter will also use the Olink technology for proteomics analysis in the European Union-funded projects identifying molecular mechanisms of pain related disorders (PainFACT) and Combining optoacoustic imaging phenotypes and multi-omics to advance diabetes healthcare (OPTOMICS).” 
 
The Olink proteomics solution measures up to 3,000 proteins per sample using Proximity Extension Assay technology combined with next generation  sequencing readout on the Illumina® NovaSeq and Illumina® NextSeq platforms – providing what scientists call a ‘highly sensitive and reproducible multiplexed method with exceptional specificity.’   

Professor Faiez Zannad, head of the Centre d’Investigation Clinique Pierre Drouin Inserm in Nancy, said: “In heart failure, my area of interest, it is very common that we don’t know for sure how drugs work.

“Biomarker research, optimally using proteomics, such as enabled by Olink® Explore 3072 – when applied to clinical trial blood samples and with appropriate use of sophisticated data science – may help unravel the mechanisms of action (MOA) of therapies. Examining the MOAs of drugs in the clinical setting is among the major advances allowed by proteomics.” 

Olink Proteomics executive Henk Mouthaan said the collaboration would make the platform more accessible to the scientific community and accelerate research in areas such as the understanding of disease, more efficient and safer drug development and enablement of earlier and more accurate diagnoses.

• Speakers at the Olink launch event, from the left: Mikael Kubista (TATAA), Julia Carrasco Sanini Sanchez (University of Cambridge), Henrik Zetterberg (Göteborgs Universitet), Andrea Ballagi (Olink Proteomics).
Image credit: Jenny Jacobsson

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