Industry News: UK/Chinese Collaboration to Develop Innovative Technologies for Epigenetic Analysis

22 Dec 2017

Porvair Sciences are teaming up with Suzhou Tianlong Bio Technology Co Ltd (China), together with Swansea University and Xi'an Jiaotong University in a collaborative project entitled, "Automating & Stratification of Epigenetics in Healthcare" that is part of the Innovate UK / Jiangsu Industrial Challenge Program.

The project will integrate Porvair's innovative solid-state chromatin immunoprecipitation platform, Chromatrap® with Tianlong's expertise in automated robotic technologies and diagnostic multiplex PCR kits to develop innovative technologies in epigenetic characterization for patient stratification in renowned precision medicine. Academics in cancer epigenetics from Swansea University and Xi'an Jiaotong University will support the project by providing insights and direction for the application in cancer research and drug development.

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Dr. Amy Beynon, Technical and Business Development Manager at Porvair Sciences said “Developing new technologies to simplify and advance epigenetics research is the driving force here at Porvair. Combining Chromatrap with Tianlong's expertise in diagnostic multiplex arrays, we will provide a streamlined workflow across both research and clinical applications. The ultimate collaborative goal is to provide innovative tools that improve diagnostic options for patients and informed novel stratified therapeutics”.

The project will provide an excellent opportunity for Porvair Sciences and Tianlong to develop an automated ChIP assay that enables users to perform chromatin isolation straight through to multiplex PCR, completely hands-free. Researchers and diagnostic laboratories will be able to simultaneously analyze multiple epigenetic marks using less material and obtain better quantitative analyses. Diagnostic multiplex arrays are currently available for a number of cancer disease states, but it's application in breast and ovarian cancers is non-existent which greatly impacts the development of novel therapeutics. 

Dr. Lindsay Parkes a Senior Research Scientist at Porvair Sciences emphasized that "the opportunity to be the first to provide fundamental technologies for precision medicine, starting with breast and ovarian cancer, we can begin to shed light on the underlying epigenetics processes in cancer biology and take the first steps in developing therapeutics solutions for patients".

With cancer expecting to increase by 68% by 2030, there will be demand for personalized treatments, the availability and accessibility of such technology is becoming increasingly important with the emergence of multi-marker disease diagnosis and monitoring. The project will create an epigenetics characterization toolbox that empowers researchers and diagnostic labs to further advance epigenetics research and drug development for these cancers".

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Chromatrap, is a disruptive chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) platform, free from beads that is taking the ChIP market by storm by replacing older bead-based technologies. With solid state technology at the heart of every ChIP kit, Chromatrap products offer users a faster, easier and far more sensitive workflow. Notably, Chromatrap products eliminate laborious and time-consuming manual handling steps and with their ability to perform high throughput protocols, Porvair are excited to extend their user benefits to the upcoming automated platform.


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