Sandia Biotech and STC.UNM Announce Option Agreement to License Novel Recombinant Antibody Technology

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Platform provides a novel process for creating cost-effective, specific, and robust fluorescent antibodies to provide a simple and effective method for tagging, detecting, and quantifying antigens in solution, cell surfaces or within cells.

Sandia Biotech's RFAP (3D Model)

“We see our RFAP technology as a breakthrough in the antibody industry and are excited to be able to offer it as a more reliable and less expensive alternative to existing antibody technology. says Tony Pino, President Sandia Biotech

Sandia Biotech, Inc. announced today that the company has signed an exclusive option agreement with STC.UNM (STC) for a technology developed by researchers at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Queen Mary University of London in London, England. The group of technologies, called the Recombinant Fluorescent Antibody Technology Platform (RFAP) was developed by Dr. Ravi Durvasula from UNM’s Department of Internal Medicine and Dr. Angray Kang from Queen Mary’s Department of Molecular Cell Biology, is a novel process for splitting and recombining fluorescent proteins and antibodies to provide a simple and effective method for tagging, detecting, and quantifying antigens in solution, on cell surfaces or within cells.

“We see our RFAP technology as a breakthrough in the antibody industry and are excited to be able to offer it as a more reliable and less expensive alternative to existing antibody technology. We are confident it will facilitate biological discovery, and understanding of complex diseases,” says Tony Pino, President of Sandia Biotech, Inc.

STC CEO Lisa Kuuttila added: “This powerful technology platform is truly innovative because it can be used to create the next generation of diagnostic and therapeutic molecules for the research community—especially the cell molecular sciences and immunology. It has the potential to create many new products.”

Antibody-fluorophore conjugates are effective and widely used throughout the scientific research community as reagents in cell biology and physiology studies. Some of the many uses of these products include quantitative imaging, cell sorting, and monitoring complex cellular processes. Traditionally, fluorophores (fluorescent molecules) are chemically linked to an antibody to create a fluorescent antibody. These chemical links often limit the utility of the antibody by reducing stability, fluorophore-antibody dissociation, and the formation of aggregates.

The RFAP technology is engineered to overcome the disadvantages associated with conventional antibody-fluorophore conjugates. This novel engineering permits consistent production of a range of fully functional fluorescent antibodies with the correct orientation and assembly that retain optimal binding properties. Additional advantages of RFAP technology include the following:

  •     Ability to create fluorescent antibodies against any cell surface maker or epitope of interest
  •     No lot-to-lot variation
  •     RFAP can be used as both a qualitative and quantitative detection tool
  •     Ability to create fluorescent antibodies with multiple colors to allow for multiplexing
  •     Compatible with existing flow cytometry and molecular imaging techniques

Dr. Durvasula added, “The fluorescent antibody technology is an exciting platform that may be used for a wide range of applications, from studies of cellular physiology to medical and veterinary diagnostics. It should foster several commercial partnerships in the years to come.”

Sandia Biotech is developing an expansive library of robust, consistent, and stable fluorescent antibodies targeting epitopes of human diseases, signal transduction pathways, and tissues. The organization will create a library of thousands of selective and sensitive renewable antibodies over the next few years. Sandia Biotech’s first commercial products, available for research use only, will be focused on cancer epitopes; antibodies include but are not limited to HER2/neu (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor), ER (Estrogen Receptor alpha & beta), PR (Progesterone Receptor), CD20, CD30, and CD52. Sandia Biotech is actively recruiting scientists to test initial product offerings under a material transfer agreement.

About Sandia Biotech, Inc.

Sandia Biotech, Inc. is a privately held biotechnology company focused on providing unique and essential biological products that aid the research community in furthering research endeavors that contribute to improvements in human health. In addition to the RFAP technology, Sandia Biotech is the exclusive producer and provider of the proprietary Split-Green Fluorescent Protein assays, which allows for the rapid determination of protein expression, conformation, and solubility. Sandia Biotech has headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For additional information, contact Tony Pino, President, Sandia Biotech, Inc., at (505) 342-0225 or tpino(at)sandiabio(dot)com. To learn more about Sandia Biotech, visit our website at http://www.sandiabio.com.

About STC.UNM

As the technology-transfer and economic-development arm of the University of New Mexico, STC.UNM protects and commercializes technologies developed at UNM by filing patents and copyrights and transferring the technologies to the marketplace. We connect the business community (companies, entrepreneurs and investors) to these UNM technologies for licensing opportunities and the creation of start-up companies. For additional information, contact Jovan Heusser, STC Senior Innovation Manager, at (505) 272-7908 or jheusser(at)stc(dot)unm(dot)edu.    To learn more about us, visit our website at http://www.stc.unm.edu.

About Queen Mary University of London

Queen Mary University of London is among the UK's leading research-intensive higher education institutions, with five campuses in the capital: Mile End, Whitechapel, Charterhouse Square, West Smithfield and Lincoln’s Inn Fields. A member of the Russell Group, Queen Mary is also one of the largest of the colleges of the University of London, with 17,800 students—20% of whom are from more than 150 countries. Some 4,000 staff deliver world-class degrees and research across 21 departments, within three faculties: Science and Engineering; Humanities and Social Sciences; and the School of Medicine and Dentistry. Queen Mary has an annual turnover of £350m, research income worth £100m, and generates employment and output worth £700m to the UK economy each year.

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