Industry News: ENPICOM and Viroclinics-DDL receive joint MIT Zuid subsidy to accelerate and improve antibody and vaccine discovery and development

The partnership combines Viroclinics-DDL’s diagnostic and high-throughput sequencing experience with ENPICOM’s expertise in bioinformatics and immunomics

07 Apr 2021


Viroclinics-DDL, a state-of-the-art contract research organization specialized in molecular diagnostic testing and assay development, and ENPICOM, an innovative bioinformatics software engineering company, have announced the approval of their joint MIT Zuid subsidy (SME Innovation Stimulation Top Sectors South Holland) application. 

This R&D partnership project combines "wet-lab" (in vitro) diagnostic and high-throughput sequencing expertise of Viroclinics-DDL and "dry-lab" (in silico) bioinformatics and immunomics knowledge of ENPICOM. Together, the two companies aim to develop an integrated wet and dry lab BCR repertoire sequencing technology that can be offered as a unique full-service proposition. BCR receptor identification and quantification can be used for patients monitoring, evaluation of vaccine efficacy, and, of particular importance in these turbulent times, to improve antibody-based therapeutic development.

“Viroclinics-DDL’s proven ability to perform molecular diagnostic testing at scale provides a tremendous engine to power innovative therapeutics.” comments Jos Lunenberg, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at ENPICOM. “The joint strengths and capabilities of our experienced and well-diversified teams create not only a more complete portfolio of services for our clients; we are confident that our IGX Platform TCR/BCR sequencing analysis and management, combined with Viroclinics-DDL’s diversified portfolio of assay tools, will allow us to expedite discovery and development of new revolutionary therapeutics and vaccines.”

“This is a great example of our mission to drive purposeful innovation.” says Desiree van der Kleij, General Manager at Viroclinics-DDL. “The combined expertise of our companies provides an opportunity to extend our service portfolio of tailor-made molecular diagnostic services for our (bio)pharmaceutical customers.” 

Unique full-service offering for B cell receptor repertoire profiling for antibody development

Therapeutics based on antibodies are at the forefront of revolutionary treatments for cancer, autoimmunity, and many other diseases. While B cell repertoire profiling and analysis (also known as 'immunosequencing' or 'BCR repertoire sequencing') has proven to be highly effective at improving selection and production of antibody candidates, existing immunosequencing solutions are limited in data analysis options which do not meet today’s data quantity and quality requirements. Correct annotation of immune receptors, the interpretation of large-scale repertoires and the integration of different datatypes are posing serious challenge to researchers. Viroclinics-DDL and ENPICOM aim to develop a complete solution that includes high-throughput sequencing, quality control, and innovative data analysis methods, ensuring a seamless integration of all lab and data analysis aspects of immune repertoire sequencing.

This project is part of the Top Sector LSH (Life Sciences & Health) under the 'enabling technologies and infrastructure' and 'molecular diagnostics' themes. In addition, the project has a direct impact on the Top Sector HTSM & ICT with a contribution to the themes Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, and ICT-driven services.

The collaboration between Viroclinics-DDL and ENPICOM was initiated in May 2019 to jointly deliver TCR repertoire sequencing and analysis service to organizations studying immune system related diseases or developing drugs influencing this system. In January 2021, ENPICOM released an end-to-end software solution for fast and efficient antibody discovery. This new product proposition that aims to address the needs of researchers within the BCR repertoire sequencing field is going to be an important step to facilitate the full-service proposition jointly offered with Viroclinics-DDL.

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