Understanding and harnessing the power of biomarkers is a considerable challenge, because of the wide range of skill sets required. Getting it right offers the prospect of a concrete commercial advantage over competitors, but pitfalls abound and reliance on a poorly validated surrogate biomarker could spell disaster.
Biomarker discovery projects can be hypothesis-driven or non-hypothesis-driven. In the first approach, the scientific evidence indicates that a protein, metabolite or other analyte may be a biomarker for the purposes of your research, and specific targeted approaches to measuring the analyte taken. In the alternative approach, non-hypothesis-driven approach a relatively high-throughput or parallel approach is taken in which many analytes are scanned, typically using techniques such as proteomics or metabolomics.
We have experience of both approaches and use our experience and background in biomarker discovery combined with your knowledge about the problem being investigated to choose one approach over another, or a combination of both.
For a hypothesis driven approach we offer our services in assay development and validation, in particular for protein analytes. We have a Luminex multiplex analyser in house, and are experienced in running multiplex protein assays, for example for cytokine analysis. We also offer a LC-MS/MS service in which we have extensive expertise in the development, validation and use of mass spectrometry assays, to perform quantitative analysis in a variety of sample matrices.
For non-hypothesis-driven approaches we have experience in proteomics and metabolomics techniques, and we partner with external suppliers to use up-to-date technology platforms combined with our in house bioinformatics skills to evaluate the results obtained.
One critical phase in biomarker discovery is the experimental design. We can work with you to identify biomarkers on existing sample sets, on samples purchased for the purpose or on bespoke cohorts not yet collected. However, better results are always obtained by us working with you prior to the collection or purchase of samples for biomarker analysis.
We are experienced in the design and performance of biomarker clinical studies and can work with you to collect new patient samples for a biomarker study, either by providing the study in its entirety, or by working with your existing provider to insert a biomarker bolt-on into an existing study.
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Partnership with a contract research company, like Total Scientific, whose expertise is greatly focused on the identification, measurement and analysis of biomarkers, is the best way to navigate this minefield with confidence. With us on board, your biomarker programme is likely to be quicker, cost-effective and more than anything else fit for your purpose.