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Bruker, Genome BC Proteomics Centre Team on Development of MALDI-MS Assays

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Bruker and the University of Victoria-Genome British Columbia Proteomics Centre said today that they are collaborating on developing high-throughput iMALDI mass spectrometry-based assays for determining genetic hemoglobin variants and diabetes risk.

The assays, which combine peptide immunoenrichment with mass spectrometry for improved throughput and sensitivity, will be developed to run on Bruker's MALDI Biotyper clinical mass spectrometry platform.

The genetic hemoglobin assays will look for well-known variants linked to diseases including sickle-cell anemia, C disease, and thalassemias, while the diabetes risk assay will measure levels of glycated hemoglobin, hbA1c, an established marker for diagnosing and monitoring the disease.

According to Bruker, the MALDI-based tests could offer advantages over existing hemoglobin variant and hbA1c testing in terms of specificity, accuracy, speed, and cost.

The partners plan to collaborate on iMALDI-based tests for additional diseases in the future, Christoph Borchers, director of the GBC UVic Proteomics Centre, noted in a statement.

"We believe that further development of our MALDI and [iMALDI] technology will lead to commercialization of MALDI-TOF based tests for a number of important diseases," he said.

Borchers added that clinical acceptance of the Biotyper platform, a device that Bruker has traditionally marketed for microbial identification purposes, would help speed the tests' time to market.

The Biotyper, which Bruker launched in 2006, is available in a research-use-only version, as well as in an IVD-CE version in various European countries, and as a Class 1 Medical Device to clinical microbiology sites in Canada. The company has also obtained clearance for clinical use of the instrument in Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, and Japan and is currently pursuing US Food and Drug Administration 510(k) approval.

More than 800 Biotypers have been installed globally, Bruker said.