Researchers in the Netherlands have identified 44 protein biomarkers that appear repeatedly in 2D gel electrophoresis-based disease biomarker studies and have linked them to cellular stress response, adding "in future proteomic studies, more profound approaches should be applied to look beyond these proteins to find specific biomarkers."
The survey conducted by Leerink Swann found that 31 percent of university-based researchers consider capital-equipment purchases their top budget priority, and within that group, 35 percent cited mass specs as their single biggest priority.
As performance-enhancing drugs have evolved from small molecules to substances that traditional test methods cannot detect, Quotient Bioresearch is developing a biomarker-based approach to test not for specific molecules in a horse's system but for biological changes that could be indications of doping.
The system, called Lucid Proteomics, combining Bio-Rad's SELDI-based array technology with Bruker's ultrafleXtreme MALDI-TOF/TOF instrument, is expected to hit the market in late summer or early fall, and is the first fruit of a co-marketing and co-development collaboration between the two firms announced a month ago.
The center, created with a $113 million grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, will eventually operate at least nine mass specs, as well as liquid chromatographs and various protein-expression and characterization tools.
For the three months ended April 30, the company, which has a joint-venture agreement with Life Technologies' Applied Biosystems on mass specs, said its Analytical Technologies revenues fell to $87 million, down from $118 million in Q2 2008.
Using their method, which combines the advantages of in-gel and in-solution approaches, the researchers identified what they said is "to our knowledge … the largest reported proteome in any single experiment."
In a competitive field where deals linking two mass-spec technologies from different vendors are unusual, the partnership could help Bio-Rad make relevant a technology that has failed to capture the interest of the research community.
Some researchers, like Ruedi Aebersold, claim that because tools such as mass specs are in a "perpetual discovery mode, the high-performance application of the [the tools] will remain in specialized labs."
It was not immediately clear whether PerkinElmer would divest all of its proteomics assets or retain a portion of them, though it described them as “discontinued operations” during its fourth-quarter earnings statement.