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Waters, A*Star Extend Glycan Cancer Biomarkers Partnership

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Waters announced that it has extended a partnership with Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*Star) to develop new mass spectrometry –based techniques for finding glycan-related biomarkers.

Under the terms of the agreement, Waters will work with A*Star's Bioprocessing Technology Institute to develop a database of glycosphingolipid (GSL) head groups, containing glucose unit retention times and cross-section values. The partners will also compile a comprehensive glycan spectral library for cancer glycobioloy.

Waters will further provide BTI with expertise and the use of a Synapt G2-S High Definition Mass Spectrometry instrument.

"This will allow us to probe for potential clinical markers and to provide insights into disease progression and regression following therapeutic intervention," BTI Research Scientist Susanto Woen said in a statement.

GSLs are involved in cell growth, interaction, and signaling, and alterations may indicate or result in disease. Analyzing their molecular composition involves the sequence, anomericity, branching, and linkage positions of oligosaccharides and fatty acid motifs.

Analyzing glycan head groups is challenging because isomeric structures are not easily differentiated by either liquid chromatography or mass spectrometry technologies, Waters said in a statement. But the Synapt instrument separates ions by shape as well as mass-to-charge ratio.

"The ability to determine the separation of molecules based on a collisional cross-section value for each glycan head group reveals insights into their unique chemical structure, which in turn can be used as an additional descriptor for the GSL in question, thus providing a higher degree of specificity than using just mass-to-charge ratio alone," the firm added.

The partners first began collaborating in 2014.

Waters has also previously established a glycobiology collaboration with the Irish National Institute of Bioprocessing Research and Training.


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