Biotechnology, Scientist pipetting sample into a multi well plate.
[Source: Cavan Images/Getty Images]

A troika of companies that provide proteomic and genomic analytical tools and assays have come together to form what they claim is the first-of-its-kind consortium focused on large scale studies combining both genomic and proteomic data. Dubbed the Proteogenomics Consortium and launched by proteomics company Seer, life science analytic technology company SCIEX, and biospecimen analysis company Discover Life Sciences, the three companies aim is to enable genomics researchers to more easily add deep, unbiased proteomics data to their discovery, translational, and clinical studies.

“This is a highly innovative and novel partnership wherein, for the first time, three scientific service and technology industry leaders are dedicating and combining resources at this scale to advance proteogenomic research,” said Glenn Bilawsky, CEO of Discovery Life Sciences in a press release. “This collaboration will overcome existing research challenges and accelerate progress in our understanding of human health and disease by helping our customers significantly expand and accelerate their multi-omics efforts.”

Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, Discovery Life Sciences will offer to its existing customers deep proteomic capabilities using the Seer Proteograph Product Suite and the SCIEX ZenoTOF 7600 platform. The focus of the companies will be to provide scale—at the population level—to plasma proteogenomic studies. According to the companies, the consortium will create an infrastructure capable of analyzing and cataloging one billion peptides each year, data which should lead to the identification of new protein variants and novel biomarkers, as targets for the development of potential new therapies.

Discovery Life Sciences is a biospecimen and biomarker discovery company. It was formed in 2018 via its merger with Conversant Bio, Folio Bio, and Phylogeny. At the time of the merger, the company had more than 10 million research-quality biospecimens. HudsonAlpha Discovery is the company’s sequencing and bioinformatics division that leverages short- and long-read genomic analysis technologies to support discovery, translational, and clinical research.

“We are entering a new era where progress is expected at pandemic speed. This collaboration and its commitment to proteogenomic accessibility will help accelerate many new discoveries for disease research,” noted SCIEX president Joe Fox. “Sensitive detection and robust quantitation of biomarkers are foundational to Precision Medicine, and support earlier and better diagnosis, along with more personalized and effective treatments.”

Technologies leveraged by the consortium include SCIEX’s ZenoTOF 7600 system, which the company says is a “high-resolution, accurate mass system combining the power of Zeno trap pulsing with electron activated dissolution (EAD) fragmentation technology to uncover structural information, previously inaccessible, and drive the limits of quantification achievable with accurate mass.” Seer’s technology, its Proteograph Product Suite, employs proprietary engineered nanoparticles, consumables, an automation instrument, and software that enables deep, unbiased proteomics studies at speed, scale, depth, and breadth of data.

“Rapid acquisition of data speeds development,” Bilawski added. “This consortium will provide new, highly-scaled and more comprehensive capabilities to develop and deploy novel biomarkers, drug candidates, and diagnostics.”

The consortium will take a phased approached to the roll out of their combined technologies as it looks to build to analyzing 100,000 samples per year, across a variety of patient cohorts and disease states. In addition, the partners plan to create workflows and provide expertise in running studies at scale to enable efficient and robust research.

“Through our collaboration, we will empower genomics researchers to add unbiased, deep proteomics data to their studies, connecting genotype to phenotype, and enabling multi-omic studies of unprecedented resolution,” concluded Omid Farokhzad, CEO and founder of Seer in a prepared statement.

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