New Research Collaboration Will “Mine” Alzheimer’s Brain Cells for Molecular Information
Source Newsroom: Protea Biosciences, Inc.
New York, NY - (Newswise) The onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease processes occurs at the molecular level within brain cells. New revolutionary technology is now available to “mine” Alzheimer’s brain cells and see large numbers of molecules at a time, an important new step in possibly unlocking new insight into treatment for the disease. A new research collaboration with the University of Southampton, a leading biomedical and clinical research institution located in the United Kingdom along with Morgantown, VA-based Protea’s proprietary direct molecular imaging technology, LAESI, will study the molecular mechanisms of the aged brain, in order to identify markers that may indicate risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Roxana Carare M.D., Ph.D., leading the Carare Research Group at the University of Southampton, U.K., Matthew Powell Ph.D. and Greg Kilby Ph.D. of Protea Biosciences, will serve as the Principal Investigators for this collaboration that will gather molecular information, the identification and characterization of the “molecular production” of cells – the proteins, metabolites, lipids and other molecules, which are being continuously produced by all living cells and life forms, in order to sustain life. Individual cells continuously produce many thousands of different molecules, and changes in the molecular production of cells can indicate and be the basis of wellness and disease.
LAESI’s ability to identify larger numbers of molecules in a single analysis begins to get at the “heart” of cellular molecular information, providing improved insight into complex disease processes, thereby supporting the development of new personalized treatments, and disease detection and management tools.
Roxana Carare, M.D., Ph.D., who leads the cerebrovascular ageing research group at the University of Southampton, commented, “We are delighted that the novel molecular techniques from Protea Biosciences will be applied to brain tissue. We anticipate that novel biomarkers for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease or markers that identify the risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s disease will be discovered and make significant progress in the field of biomedical research.”
Protea’s LAESI technology enables rapid generation of very large molecular datasets, known as ‘big data”. It is not unusual for LAESI to identify over 1,000 individual molecules in a single scan. The data is available almost immediately, and can be displayed in 2D and 3D imaging. Larger databases aid the “molecular eyesight” of a researcher, improving their prospects to discover new biomarkers or molecular data that will provide new opportunities for developing new treatments.
LAESI analyzes cell and tissue samples directly without the need for sample preparation. As a result, separation techniques and protocols are not required to generate molecular information. Instead, virtually all sample types can be inserted directly into the instrument. Molecular information is acquired on samples in their native state, therefore unbiased data is generated.
Steve Turner, Protea’s Chief Executive Officer stated, "It has been a strategic goal of Protea to apply our direct molecular imaging technology and expertise to the field of neurodegenerative disease, and we are pleased to be doing so with the University of Southampton. We believe that the capabilities of our technology to directly identify and image hundreds of molecules produced by cells from a single analysis has the potential to identify new biomarkers and therapeutic points of intervention for use in the development of new Alzheimer’s treatments and patient management tools.”
About Protea Biosciences Group, Inc.
Protea Biosciences (OTCQB:PRGB) is a commercial stage molecular information company, focused on meeting the needs of the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, agriculture, chemical and other industries with innovative technologies, software and services. Protea's proprietary technology, LAESI® (Laser Ablation Electrospray Ionization), is used with mass spectrometry to detect the presence of up to, and over, one thousand distinct molecules from a single analysis of samples that can include tissues, cells, fluids, agricultural specimens and other sample types. Using proprietary software (ProteaPlotTM), the location of each distinct molecule in a respective sample can be displayed, enabling direct molecular imaging. The LAESI DP-1000, an integrated system that combines LAESI and ProteaPlot, is marketed to a wide array of researchers for numerous applications. Protea maintains its own laboratory facility where it performs services using LAESI and complementary technologies for a wide array of customers to support preclinical pharmaceutical R&D, biomarker discovery and other applications. Protea also collaborates with researchers to apply its technologies and expertise to generate new discoveries and intellectual property.