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SCIEX, National University of Singapore Faculty of Science ink MoU to accelerate cancer biomarker discovery in southeast Asia – Courtesy (Pharma Biz)
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SCIEX, a global leader in life science analytical technologies, and the Protein and Proteomics Centre (PPC) under the Department of Biological Sciences of the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Faculty of Science, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote joint research and development activities in oncology biomarker discovery and development. The collaboration will pave the way for accelerated cancer detection and screening. PPC and SCIEX will work closely with academic and industrial partners in biomedical research.

Proteomics is a large scale high-throughput study of the structure, functions and interactions of proteins, and is used in the research of diseases, treatment, and drug discovery. Cancer protein biomarkers may be physical, chemical, or biological parameters that indicate presence of cancer, or its status or progression. The PPC is a multi-user facility focusing on advanced research in proteins with an emphasis on mass spectrometry. Areas of expertise include biomarker discovery, proteomics, quantitative proteomics, and structural mass spectrometry (Amide Hydrogen/Deuterium Exchange MS and Ion Mobility MS).

Under the MoU, SCIEX and PPC’s areas of cooperation will include facilitating workshops on qualitative and quantitative proteomics to educate the regional research community on alternative methods for proteomics. SCIEX and PPC researchers will also collaborate to develop mass spectrometry approaches for protein and metabolite profiling of zebrafish serum.

The zebrafish is a widely used model organism for biomedical research due to similarity of their genetic makeup with humans. In particular, various zebrafish cancer models have been developed to facilitate cancer research.

Subsequent approaches and technologies developed by researchers will be applied to discover biomarkers of cancer progression, study the mechanisms and pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics of anti-cancer drugs, and uncover biomarkers for environmental monitoring.

In order to conduct the research, PPC has in possession three mass spectrometers from SCIEX, including the QTRAP 6500 System given by SCIEX on consignment, TripleTOF 5600 System, and 4800 Plus MALDI TOF/TOF Analyzer, as well as the SWATH 2.0 Acquisition software. The instruments are particularly designed for proteomics identification and quantitation and the SWATH Acquisition module enables the quantification of thousands of protein biomarkers across large sample sets with a level of data completeness and precision that brings next-generation proteomics to researchers.

“With Asia’s growing affluence and ageing population, incidences of lifestyle diseases such as cancers are also on the rise in the region. As a research facility focused on advanced research in proteins, the PPC’s expertise in areas such as oncology biomarkers serves to inform future innovation in cancer research. We are pleased to embark on this collaboration with SCIEX, whose technological expertise in mass spectrometry will further enhance and supplement our study in proteomics and spur our work in cancer biomarker discovery,” said Professor Paul Matsudaira, Head of Department, Department of Biological Sciences, NUS.

“It is our honour that SCIEX is one of the trusted industrial partners of PPC to advance cancer biomarker research in Singapore. The partnership between the two entities has been strong over the years. With the MoU in place, it will undoubtedly bring the relationship and cancer biomarker discovery to the next level.” commented Johnson Ho, vice president, sales and support, Asia Pacific. “We are delighted to announce that the proteomics centre will be open to regional researchers carrying out research in the same field.” added Ho.

“SCIEX has a strong base in Singapore, with our state-of-the-art global manufacturing centre for Mass Spectrometry and Liquid Chromatography, and our Asia Pacific customer support and training centre. In 2013, we also established an R&D centre in Singapore to focus on innovations for our high growth market customers,” said Jean-Paul Mangeolle, president of SCIEX. “Our collaboration with PPC is another milestone that reflects our dedication to enabling Singapore-based researchers to find answers that will lead to new discoveries around disease pathways and drug development.”

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