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ProImmune Launches ProArray Ultra Peptide and Protein Screening Service


By Justin Petrone

ProImmune, an Oxford, UK-based company specializing in immune response research services, recently launched a new service for screening peptides and proteins.

Called ProArray Ultra, the service relies on ProImmune's customizable array platform, and allows users to screen 30,000 peptides or proteins at a time. Customers can also design chips containing two, four, eight, or 24 identical sub-arrays per slide.

The company is marketing the service as an improvement over existing enzyme-linked immunosorbant assays, as well as existing protein array platforms.

ProImmune CEO Nikolai Schwabe told BioArray News this week that ProArray Ultra was designed with the objective to "make the high standards of performance obtainable with optimized ELISAs available to customers who want to work at a larger scale using array platforms."

ProImmune was founded in 1999 to commercialize technology developed at the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Oxford. The company specializes in products and services for monitoring the status of the immune system based on recombinant major histocompatibility complex molecules. It maintains a subsidiary in Sarasota, Fla.

Since it launched its ProArray peptide microarray platform in 2009, ProImmune has used it as the basis for a B-cell linear epitope mapping service, but Schwabe noted that the synthesis technology behind ProArray Ultra now enables it to print arrays optimized for a number of applications. These include antigen and monoclonal antibody characterization; analysis of serum antibody specificity; correlation of antibody responses with disease onset, progression, and outcome; protein-protein interaction site mapping; iterative peptide and protein design; and general bioassay design.

The new platform also benefits from design improvements that "result in greater uniformity of spot morphology between peptides and proteins, reduced background signal, and improved assay performance in terms of sensitivity, dynamic range, and variance," he said.

According to Schwabe, ProImmune's main competitors are companies that offer ELISAs in 96-well formats as well as other protein array firms. The company is positioning the ProArray Ultra service as being higher-throughput than ELISAs and more quantitative than array platforms on the market.

"ProArray Ultra overcomes the traditional trade-off between optimized 96-well plate-based assays, which are reliable and have good performance characteristics but lack the required throughput, and high-throughput array technologies, which are typically only semi-quantitative," said Schwabe. "We believe it will successfully compete with both types of assays."

For now, the arrays will only be available as a service. Schwabe said that ProImmune's in-house immunologists and biochemists will discuss customers' projects with them in order to design an assay and array format tailored to achieve their objectives.

Have topics you'd like to see covered in BioArray News? Contact the editor at jpetrone [at] genomeweb [.] com

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