SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—Fluidigm Corp. and OlinkBioscience will bring together Olink's protein detection assays and thehigh-throughput, high-reproducibility and high-sensitivity platform ofFluidigm's real-time PCR system. The result will be the ability to interrogate96 samples across 92 proteins in a single run from one microliter of sample inless than a day.
Key to establishing the new relationship was Olink's uniqueproximity elongation assay technology, says Howard Hill, Fluidigm fellow,corporate communications and press relations. He explains: "The Olinktechnology uses pairs of antibodies attached to unique DNA sequences to detectproteins of interest. When the antibodies bind their targets, the attached DNAstrands are brought into proximity and ligate, forming a new DNA amplicon thatcan then be quantified using real-time PCR. Since Fluidigm uses PCR as the baseof its technology, this Olink assay approach allows customers to tap into thebenefits of Fluidigm technology to explore proteins. This approach alsoeliminated the common immunoassay problem of antibody cross-reactivity."
Fluidigm was aware of, and had met with, Simon Fredriksson,Olink's president and CEO, when he was still a student at Stanford University,according to Hill.
"It was the compatibility of the two companies' technologiesthat was the driving force for us to work together and solve some issues thatwere problematic for protein researchers," he says.
"Analyzing 92 proteins from one microliter of sample enablesnew biomarker discovery and validation," says Gajus Worthington, Fluidigm'spresident and CEO. "Many sample sources, including those from biorepositoriesor model organisms, are limited, and researchers can simply run out before theyare able to find useful biomarker panels. The combination of Fluidigm's andOlink's technology represents a robust new tool for the protein researchcommunity."
"Our offerings tend to center around our ability to controlthe flow of microscopic amounts of fluids using our NanoFlex valves, and integratea variety of work steps in our various integrated fluidic circuits," adds Hill."This has allowed us to provide solutions for life-science researchers that arefaster, better, cheaper and easier to use. It has also allowed scientists to dothings that weren't possible (or practical) using traditional technologies. Oneof the key developments of this effort has been the growing interest insingle-cell genomics and the realization that you must operate at the scale ofthe biology if you are going to be effective analyzing single cells. Fluidigmis the leader in this space as the growth in this sector has driven thecompany's growth over the past several years."
A recent DeciBio research report predicts that thesingle-cell genomics market will grow at a CAGR of 39 percent between now and2018, Hill notes.
"Now with our co-marketing agreement with Olink, we can useour technology to also service protein researchers," he says.
Asked to compare the newly paired Fluidigm-Olink technologyto others available, Hill flatly states, "we have the best platform availableto quantify many DNA sequences with high throughput, precision and good dataquality. The Olink kit requires only 1 μL of sample while, by way ofcomparison, Myriad RBM's discovery assays require between 50 μL and 750 μL ofsample, depending on the panel. My understanding is that besides using muchmore sample, the number of protein samples that were typically explored at atime was between two and 10, while the Olink-Fluidigm configuration willanalyze 96 human samples at a time against a panel of 92 analytes, such asgrowth factors, inflammatory markers, soluble receptors or cancer antigens.With the addition of four control analytes (two incubation controls, andextension and detection controls), researchers can now obtain results for up to9,216 reactions in just a few hours."
The first 92-plex Olink panel, available now, is focused onbiomarker discovery for cancer. Panels addressing cardiovascular disease andinflammation are expected to be offered later this year.