Anju Dang, Director, Business Development
One of the most common post-translational modifications of proteins is glycosylation, the covalent attachment of oligosaccharides. About half of all cellular proteins are glycosylated. Changes in glycosylation patterns are linked to diseases, highlighting the importance of glycosylation to protein function. Over the last century, the realm of molecular biology has made gargantuan leaps in understanding human cell chemistry and leveraged this knowledge to unlock safer and more effective treatment against diseases. Today, the technology innovations in the drug discovery and development arenas have enabled drug researchers to delve deeper into the biochemistry of cells and their reactions when interacting with disease-causing organisms. And by using a deeper understanding of cell-cell interactions and their chemistry, drug developers are developing highly effective monoclonal antibody therapeutics for leading diseases across the globe.
Traditionally, the development of monoclonal antibody-based drug medication begins with detecting specific molecules on a cell that is used as targets for their product. And as an essential catalyst for protein folding and many biological processes, glycans are considered to be at the heart of medically relevant processes, which also make them the hotspot for biomedical intervention. Even with respect to COVID-19, glycans can be a key target for drug and vaccine development organizations owing to their presence on SARS-CoV-2’s spike proteins.
While the world has advanced in genomics and proteomics, glycomics is still evolving. Contract research organizations and pharmaceutical companies struggle to develop highly effective medication for the most prevalent disorders because of the continuous uncovering of newer research in the field of glycomics research space. Furthermore, unlike genomics and proteomics, which have a core DNA as a glycosylation lacks a coding model that researches can translate, making glycomics further challenging.
To help firms overcome this hurdle, New Hampshire-based S-BIO provides a comprehensive bioanalytical suite of products and services allowing characterization of various biological samples for glycoprotein analysis. “We recognized the global surge in the need for antibody therapeutics and it’s characterization for glycan content and with our strong expertise in glycomics, we have developed high throughput kits and services for N-glycan and O-glycan analysis,” says Dr. Anju Dang, who leads the S-BIO business in North America. Apart from its glycan kits, the company offers cutting-edge cell culture products for 3D applications in Regenerative Medicine and Drug Discovery.
Established in 2004, S-BIO is a brand for life science services of Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd.— the Japan-based pioneer of plastic products.
Our products allow researchers to enrich glycans for their use in bio-therapeutics while performing high-throughput glycan characterizations for biomarker discovery
Since 1980’s, Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd. developed high-quality labware for use in high-performance labs in drug development and research centers. Over the years, as the focus of the drug discovery evolved and shifted into products that are useful in understanding cell biochemistry, the company expanded its knowledge and portfolio to incorporate highly sought-after offerings such as accurate glycan analysis kits and 3-D cell culture services.
Currently, S-BIO’s bioanalytics portfolio comprises EZGlyco O-Glycan Prep Kit and EZGlyco mAb-N Kit for analysis solutions, as well as its unique BlotGlyco Glycan Purification and Labelling Kit. “These products allow researchers to enrich glycans for their use in biotherapeutics characterization while performing high-throughput glycan profiling for biomarker discovery,” adds Dr. Dang. The company has also expanded its final sample development to include multiple analytical methodologies, including MALDI-TOF MS, LC-MS, and HPLC. Above all, S-BIO has also developed its GlycanMap platform to significantly enhance the scalability and efficiency of its clients’ glycomics research. GlycanMap’s core features can help drug scientists identify post-translational protein (glycosylation patterns) modifications, glycan profiles across various biological samples, novel glycan markers, new therapeutic and vaccine targets, adding a newer dimension in existing biomarker discovery processes.
With such unmatched capabilities, S-BIO has ignited several success stories since its inception. In one instance, the company helped a client overcome a hurdle with respect to their biomarker discovery. Initially, even after running traditional genomic and proteomic studies, the customer had failed to identify early biomarkers of their drug’s efficacy. S-BIO then approached this client and collected over 150 samples over eight-time points before analyzing them using its GlycanMap assay. The results showed over 50 distinct glycans in each sample with a small series of groups exhibiting a statistically significant difference in glycosylation pattern in response to the drug, even as early as the first post-treatment time point. The results from the study assisted the customer to enhance their drug discovery journey with definitive results of their drug’s early impact on patients.
Today, as the drug development and discovery sectors shift toward more tech-driven and sophisticated avenues, demand for in-house capabilities have increased and S-BIO enables its scientists by offering a portfolio of products that can complement the emerging technology solutions and increase their overall value. When scientists expressed the need for O-glycan release method, S-BIO delivered on it with its unique streamlined, rapid, reliable EZGlyco® O-Glycan Prep Kit. “Our core strength is chemistry and in recognizing that, we have designed a versatile product suite capable of working in conjunction with several technologies to boost the overall efficiency of drug discovery operations,” states Dr. Dang.
Moving ahead, the company plans to expand its newly established in vitro diagnostic business and answer the needs for the early diagnosis of disorders and maximize the applications of its cell culture solutions.