Company News: Clickmer Systems Receives EUR 1.73 Million for the Development of Novel Synthetic Detection Reagents for Medical Research and Diagnostics
— Supported by Life Science Inkubator (LSI) Bonn
— Alternative to antibody-based detection with improved reproducibility and reliability
Clickmer Systems, a spin-off from the University of Bonn, Germany, today announced its incubation at Life Science Inkubator (LSI) Bonn. With the incubation, the project team has not only secured funds totaling EUR 1.73 million from the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), but also gains access to the LSI infrastructure and support from seasoned life science professionals in LSI’s network. This will allow the team to further advance its technology and build an attractive product pipeline.
Clickmer Systems focuses on the development of clickmers, a synthetic alternative to antibodies. Clickmers are chemically modified nucleic acids binding to targets – typically proteins – with high specificity, sensitivity and reproducibility. They can be used in both diagnostics and research and are an alternative to frequently used antibodies, which are produced in biological systems. Clickmers, by contrast, are manufactured synthetically. This means fewer lot variations and a significantly improved reproducibility of results. Consequently, clickmers are highly suited for diagnostics because medical diagnostics require a consistent quality of the reagents used as well as high reproducibility. This can be guaranteed by a chemical synthesis process under GLP and GMP standards that needs to be established and validated only once – an important USP compared to biologic manufacturing processes. Another advantage is the fact that clickmers could enable the detection of important targets that are not covered by available antibodies yet.
The clickmer technology originates from the working group of Professor Günter Mayer, University of Bonn. Clickmers are modified aptamers, a class of molecules introduced by the pioneering works of Professor Michael Famulok, also from the University of Bonn. For many years, the Mayer and Famulok groups have been focusing on novel, fully synthetic detection reagents with improved characteristics compared to standard antibody-based methods. The Clickmer Systems project group will initially focus on ELISA (diagnostics) and Westernblot (research) applications. During their research in the teams of Prof. Mayer and Prof. Famulok, the two co-founders Dr. Nora Karnowski and Dr. Maren Hamann have established a first proof-of-concept for a customized clickmer for Westernblot applications.
Dr. Joachim Schorr, head of the project at LSI and previously Managing Director and Senior Vice President Global R&D at QIAGEN, is convinced that clickmers have great potential for research and diagnostics: „Reproducible results are the basis for every reliable diagnostic test. We will use the financing obtained at LSI to complement our team and to build a clickmer product portfolio.“
„We are delighted about the start of the project and the further collaboration with Clickmer Systems here at LSI. We are impressed by the potential of the clickmer technology and the commitment of the entire project team to bring clickmers to market“, adds Dr. Jörg Fregien, Managing Director of LSI.