South Africa's Centre for Proteomic and Genomic Research announced this week that it would be collaborating with researchers at the University of British Columbia to identify protein biomarkers correlating to response to vaccination in patients given seasonal influenza vaccines.
CPGR will be developing multiplex protein array-based antibody profiling assays and related bioinformatic analysis methods for the project with the ultimate aim of creating a biomarker signature that can be used for companion diagnostic purposes.
"The ability to reliably measure biomarkers that can serve as a proxy for response to treatment has the potential to improve the way clinical trials are being designed significantly," Reinhard Hiller, managing director of the CPGR, said in a statement.
Founded in 2006 as part of an initiative by the South African government, the CPGR aims to support the development of the country's biotech industry by providing scientists with infrastructure for research into genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics and by establishing a track record of successful R&D in areas like biomarkers and drug development.
Tobias Kollmann, assistant professor in the division of infectious and immunological diseases in the department of pediatrics at UBC, will head the university's work on the project. UBC is providing serum samples from a vaccine trial it has been conducting.