01 March 2017

Continued success and growth has enabled Aptamer Group to restructure its Scientific Operations team. Increasing interest in the development of aptamers against small molecule targets has led to the formation of a dedicated scientific team. This is in addition to the existing team focused on aptamer generation against larger targets (proteins, viruses, cells etc).

 

New team members

We are pleased to welcome the following new team members to the Aptamer Group:

Christine Reinemann; Senior Research Scientist, Small Molecule Specialist: Christine has 14 years’ experience in aptamer research with focus on selection, characterisation and application of aptamers

 

Amy Law; Senior Laboratory Technician: Amy joined Aptamer Group to advance the planning and organisation within the laboratory and to help develop the technical team.

 

Kasia Bialas; Laboratory Technician: Kasia’s technical support will be focused on development of aptamers against small molecules.

 

Developing Aptamers to Small Molecule Targets

Selecting aptamers against small molecules is challenging. Aptamer Group has developed a unique displacement method to overcome issues with the traditional bound target approach. In a reversal, the aptamer library is bead immobilised and the small molecule target is presented in solution, after removal of non-specific aptamers. Small molecule target specific aptamers are eluted, amplified and quantified before preparing a refined library for the subsequent round of selection. Counter selection steps can be included to drive specificity.

We have had success selecting aptamers to a range of small molecules, including; anti-cancer therapeutics, a food contaminating neurotoxin, ATP and phospholipids.

Do contact us if you would like more information about this unique method of aptamer selection.

Commercial Activities 

The commercial activities of the company are strengthened by the arrival of David Collins as Chief Commercial Officer. The transition of projects from early discussions into protocols for the delivery of an aptamer to your target is facilitated by Andy Brentnall (Business Development Executive) and David Bunka (Chief Technical Officer).

Large Molecule / Protein Target Aptamers

An application of interest for many of our customers is the use of aptamers in protein purification. We are using our AptaBind selection process to develop aptamers for use in Aptamer-Mediated Affinity Chromatography (AMAC).

In addition to identifying specific aptamers for each target, the AptaBind process isolates only those that both bind and release under the customer specified purification conditions. These AptaBind aptamers are then immobilised onto an appropriate resin for subsequent use in aptamer-mediated column purification. Compared to a traditional multi-step process which might include IEX, HIC and/or SEC, AMAC purification reduces the number of steps, increases the final yield of protein and dramatically reduces the purification time; important considerations for industrial purification applications as production costs can be reduced significantly.

Scientific Operations

To ensure prompt execution of your project and aptamer selection, Aptamer Group has developed in-house Standard Operating Procedures and project management processes to ensure we deliver. Continual review by our senior scientists ensures appropriate resource allocation.

The aptamer selection process utilises our automated high-throughput robotic selection platform. This enables rapid delivery of aptamers with the required specificity and binding characterisitics – monoclonal aptamers typically being delivered in 12 weeks.