NeoVentures Biotechnology Inc.

NeoVentures: new multiplex detection platform



LONDON, Ontario, Sept. 17, 2014 – NeoVentures Biotechnology Inc. makes its second appearance at MEDICA, the world's largest annual medical trade fair, Nov. 12-15 in Düsseldorf, Germany, where it will showcase new means of improving aptamer performance in diagnostic applications. NeoVentures will unveil its novel diagnostic system, the Multus Platform, which uses aptamers for simultaneous multiplex detection of analytes.

“Last year in our MEDICA debut, we introduced the world to aptamers (single-stranded DNA or RNA molecules that bind to pre-selected targets) as the basis for a revolutionary diagnostic platform,” says NeoVentures President and CEO, Gregory Penner, PhD, “and we’re delighted to say that we’ve come back this year to MEDICA with the new Multus Platform, which we believe is further evidence that NeoVentures is the global leader in applying aptamers – instead of traditional antibodies– to commercial diagnostics.

“Commercially, antibodies represent a large headache for diagnostic companies. There is a need to manage production schedules for recombinant expression systems to produce targeted antibodies on a commercial scale. And there is a need to ship products under chilled conditions to preserve the antibodies. Aptamers eliminate these constraints as they are chemically synthesized and are stable at ambient temperatures.”

Dr. Penner points to three main constraints to aptamers replacing antibodies in diagnostics.

- general patent positions
- consistent identification of good quality aptamers
- commercially relevant diagnostic application platforms

“The general patent positions expired more than two years ago,” explains Penner. “So last year at MEDICA, NeoVentures described our innovative aptamer identification platform, which combines next generation sequencing with high throughput candidate screening that generate multiple good quality aptamers per target. This year, we will describe further improvements Neoventures has made to how aptamers are used in diagnostic applications.”

Specifically in its new developments, NeoVentures has focused on improving three diagnostic basics: sensitivity, noise, and signal strength.

- Sensitivity: increased by a new method that increases the amount of aptamers immobilized per unit area. This means more aptamer per microtitre well

- Noise: decreased by increasing binding affinity through two different capture aptamers. In turn, each aptamer binds to a different epitope on the target protein

- Signal Strength: strengthened by using multiple detection aptamers, with each aptamer binding to different epitopes on the same target molecule.

For CEO Penner, the new Multus Platform overcomes another fundamental diagnostic challenge.

“In the past, you had to make a choice between two alternatives: either you analyzed multiple analytes in a single sample, or you analyzed single analytes in multiple samples. However, the shelf life of antibody based systems meant you didn’t have the third choice of being able to analyze multiple analytes in multiple samples. Now, the Multus Platform gives you that choice. It can provide analytical determinations of multiple proteins and metabolites at the same time. It’s a reusable system as well; one chip can characterize hundreds of samples.”

At MEDICA, adds Penner, NeoVentures will continue exploring possibilities for the Multus Platform’s commercial development, "We are in the process of creating a spin-off company for it that we’ve named ‘Diagonal Diagnostics’. We hope to attract equity investment in Diagonal Diagnostics so that we can move Multus to commercial readiness as rapidly as possible.

“Last year aptamers arrived at MEDICA, this year the Multus Platform is further proof that aptamers are in diagnostics are here to stay.”

NeoVentures welcomes the media and other visitors to its MEDICA 2014 location in Hall 3, Booth H14 in the Ontario, Canada pavilion .

For more information on NeoVentures in the meantime, please visit our neoventures.ca website or phone +1 519-601-7511 or email info@neoventures.ca – also, you can search for us in “Companies & Products” on the medica-tradefair.com website.