Exploring the diagnostics market for simple and fast point-of-care antibody detection

Prize: ERCProof of conceptScientific


Antibody detection assays are used in many fields of biomedicine including the diagnosis of infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases and allergies. Current analytical techniques for antibody detection come with intrinsic limitations such as the requirement for multiple time-consuming incubation steps, multiple reagents, and/or sophisticated equipment. Supported by an ERC consolidator grant we have developed a highly modular sensor concept for antibody-responsive reporter enzymes (AbSens) that addresses many of these challenges. Key advantages include the ability to monitor antibodies directly in solution, easy read-out based on a simple color reaction, adaptability to target any antibody of interest, and high affinity and specificity. We believe that this generic sensor platform could find applications in low-cost point-of-care diagnostics, clinical research, and the development of therapeutic antibodies. The goal of AbSens is to identify those opportunities in the huge market of antibody-based diagnostics where our sensor platform provides unique advantages over existing technologies, both in terms of analytical performance and economics. To enable the next step towards commercialization, the analytical performance of our technology will be compared to current gold standards using relevant clinical samples in collaboration with commercial parties and clinicians. Other commercially important parameters are the long-term stability of the assay components and the development of a yeast-based production system to lower the cost of enzyme production. Based on an in-depth market analysis and the feedback we receive from external stakeholders on the performance of our technology, a realistic strategy will be developed for the further commercialization. In anticipation of exploring the commercialization of our AbSens technology we filed a US provisional patent application in Sept. 2012 on the key underlying technology, which was recently continued via the PCT route.
Degree of recognitionInternational
Granting OrganisationsEuropean Research Council