|5 December 2016|

Scotland/China

Personalised disease treatment has been labelled the ‘holy grail of medical science and a new partnership between a Scottish and Chinese company is another important step in that quest.

Scotland’s Arrayjet – a leading microarray instrumentation company – has won a contract with Shanghai-based Abmart, a biological and life science technology specialist working to industrialise the production of monoclonal antibodies for academic research institutes, biotechnology companies and pharmaceutical laboratories across the globe.

These antibodies are critical to a number of applications, including biological research, disease prevention, diagnosis, and therapeutics. They are expensive to develop using traditional methods but Abmart has slashed the costs and now wants to bring it down further by building standardised assembly lines in a bid to achieve ‘monoclonal antibody democracy’ ‘to enable at-will and on-demand monoclonal antibody development for any structural molecules in nature’.

Abmart already has a library of 100,000 different monoclonal antibodies and its team of leading scientists are working to develop different applications from it. This is being underpinned by major investments in technology innovation and systems engineering, with Arrayjet being central to this strategy.

Abmart will use Arrayjet’s Super Marathon Microarrayer to print the 100,000 antibodies on to two small microarray chips, called MabArrayTM. So any kind of protein samples of interest can be screened and analysed by this enormous antibody library in just a small amount, which allows users to discover new disease biomarkers, novel drug targets, and even new cancer immunotherapy cheaply, easily and quickly.

MabArrayTM will be able to discover broad applications in agricultural sciences for discovering critical proteins involving  economic plant and animal stock traits. Together the library and microarrays are powerful tools in both basic and clinical research and will greatly help the development of the ‘holy grail’ of medical science: the personalised disease treatment.

Dr Zhaohui Wang, Senior R&D manager of Abmart explains, partnerships, such as this one with Arrayjet is vital for its continued success. Dr Wang further commented: “The reason we chose Arrayjet Super Marathon for production is that we are impressed by its high throughput, superior stability and consistency of printing performance. We have had issues with ‘repeatability’ in and between batches on our previous arrayer, so we are looking forward to a satisfying result from our Super Marathon and applying our competitive technology onto microarrays. This will minimize the reaction and produce easy-to-use screening tools for researchers so that they can do screening on their own.”

Arrayjet CEO Iain McWilliam added: “There is a great synergy between our two organisations. We have known Abmart and its fantastic work for a long time and equally, they know how Arrayjet can be a significant value – add to their business, providing exceptional accuracy precision and quality they need to create and produce the vast libraries of monoclonal antibodies for its global customer base.  Moreover, we are delighted to work with them and help to extend our reach across Asia Pacific as well.”