Investment firm Nxt2b has signed an agreement to purchase 49 percent of all outstanding shares of Olink Bioscience for an undisclosed amount.
According to Olle Kämpe, a scientific advisor at Nxt2b and a professor of molecular medicine at Uppsala University, the firm sees great potential in packaging Olink's proximity ligation technology in ready-to-use formats for scientific, pharmaceutical, and clinical researchers.
Currently, many of the company's PLA offerings – like its Duolink and Proseek products – require users to obtain antibodies and build their assays using Olink's reagents. Nxt2b foresees in the future, though, "a number of products that are ready to use, for example for measuring tyrosine phosphorylation against a number of targets," Kampe told ProteoMonitor.
"Not everybody wants to find the right antibodies and do the titrations" necessary to build an assay, he said. "So I think this will expand the market among scientists and also among pharmaceutical companies."
"And what we ultimately are aiming for is to have a broad market in hospitals" for assays based on the PLA technology, he added.
Olink began moving in this direction earlier this year with the launch in March of its PLA-based protein biomarker discovery service, a panel of assays targeting 74 potential cancer protein biomarkers. The company is currently offering the panel for research use only, but hopes to apply it to diagnostics as well, and plans to add an additional 100 proteins by the end of the year (PM 03/11/2011).
Kampe also noted as key to the investment the continued involvement of Ulf Landegren, a co-founder of Olink and a professor at Uppsala University. After the deal, Landegren will be the company's second largest shareholder, with 30 percent of its shares, Kampe said. Olink, he added, will have rights to any patents coming from Landegren's lab for the next six years.
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