The Aptamer Group of companies consists of strong global biotechnology companies each committed to providing innovative solutions and services to leading customers across a range of industries. The group consists of several independent companies each specialising in high growth areas related to aptamer technology. The group offer services and solutions in the following areas:
- Custom development of DNA and RNA aptamers
- Integration of aptamers into biosensors and diagnostics
- Biomarker discovery
- Research & Development
- Development of aptamers for diagnostics applications
- Development of aptamers for therapeutic applications
Aptamers are short DNA or RNA sequences that can be engineered to have high-affinity and specificity to a vast range of targets such as peptides, proteins, cells, tissue samples micro-organisms and small molecules. They are versatile, cost effective and offer a complementary or alternative solution to antibodies. There are some problems that simply cannot be overcome with antibodies, leaving a niche that aptamers can fill. Furthermore, aptamers do not require the use of animals in their development.
For the past 30 years antibodies have dominated the market being the most popular molecular recognition product in use today. The antibody market is a well-established global market with an estimated value of approximately $68bn. Antibodies are supplied across a range of disciplines in the life sciences / healthcare markets and aptamers, like antibodies, have applications in most sectors.
Nucleic acid aptamers are an emerging market which rivals the antibody market and is set to grow rapidly into areas such as R&D consumables, therapeutics, biomarker discovery and diagnostics. New markets that are expected to grow are those from emerging countries such as China, India, Japan, Brazil and the custom market which is largely untapped in all territories.
The aptamer market is set to expand rapidly over the next 10–15 years as confidence in the technology increases with regards to the superior technological merits aptamers have over antibodies. Currently, there are fewer than 60 companies working with aptamers and fewer than 20 specialising in the custom development world-wide. DNA and RNA aptamers are more versatile than many currently available technologies: binding a wider range of targets, under a wider range of conditions at a cheaper relative price and, using our technology, they can be delivered more quickly than antibodies (6 to 12 weeks vs. 6 to 12 months). Aptamers and the technologies used to identify them are part of a rapidly growing global market, expected to be worth $2.1bn by 2018 (CAGR 49.24%).
With future approval for aptamers as diagnostic devices and with aptamer therapeutics on the horizon, the market is set to experience a rapid expansion. In recent years, the portfolio of services offered by CROs has widened to include R&D enabling technologies such as genomics, high throughput screening and combinatorial chemistry. Custom aptamer selection is set to be an important service offered to life sciences companies, rapidly penetrating the existing antibody market.