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Gyros and Affibody Team Up to Develop Microfluidics-based Protein Array

NEW YORK, May 31 – Swedish proteomics companies Gyros and Affibody have begun a strategic alliance to jointly develop a microfluidics-based protein microarray on a compact-disk format, the companies said Thursday.

The array, which the companies expect to make commercially available within two years, will combine Affibody’s library of engineered capture proteins with Gyros’ microfluidics-based CD array technology, in order to allow researchers to test a sample against selected proteins in a single step.  

“This is more than just another protein array,” said Maris Hartmanis, CEO of Gyros. “Most other concepts just do the protein expression profiling, whereas we can start with raw samples, and profile on the CD, since we can integrate a sample preparation into the process.”

Gyros, an Uppsala-based spinoff of Amersham Pharmacia Biotech founded in 2000, has leveraged 10 years of AP Biotech research to develop what it calls “microlaboratories," microfluidics devices that perform sample preparation and other steps of the experiment automatically, and allows hundreds of simultaneous analyses to be performed in parallel.  

Affibody, of Stockholm, has developed a library of special capture proteins that can be designed to bind to specific target proteins, as well as to surfaces. 

Under the agreement, Gyros and Affibody will jointly develop the product and will share in revenues and development costs.

The companies plan to provide custom-designed protein arrays for pharmaceutical and other customers, rather than off-the-shelf arrays. Customers will also need to buy a special robotic CD analyzer to read the arrays, Hartmanis said. The analyzer will be available next year.

The companies have not yet priced the arrays or the analyzer, Hartmanis said.

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