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The NeoVentures’ Business Strategy Part 1

CRO: contract research organization. A company that provides support to the pharmaceuticalbiotechnology, and medical device industries in the form of research services outsourced on a contract basis.

At NeoVentures, we do not consider ourselves as a (CRO). We approach what we do more as co-entrepreneurs with you. Clients come to us with problems that might be solved with aptamers. We discuss the project in depth under confidentiality and together we develop an aptamer selection and application strategy. Sometimes we tell clients that what they have envisioned is not possible yet with aptamers. There are many reasons for this, sometimes the limit of detection required is simply not possible given the nature of the target.

We have learned that some selection processes and targets do not work well. For example:

  • Selection of aptamers for specific cells, especially prokaryotic cells, based on cell selection alone.
    • We think that this is because there is an abundance of poor targets on the surface.
    • We prefer to design selections with a double positive round for a known protein followed by selection on living cells.
  • Lipids, fatty acids, molecules less than 300 Daltons are not good aptamer targets.
    • We have tried selections against these targets and are not satisfied with the results.
  • Peptides
    • We have generally thought that selection of aptamers for peptides should work well, but we have been consistently disappointed with the results. We think the issue is the selection on the peptide. We are now modelling the structural flux of peptides with software like PEP-FOLD4, but proteins will always be better targets.

In terms of aptamer applications, we have confidence in systems like qPCR and fluorescent switches for diagnostics. In our experience, electrochemistry platforms with existing commercial chips are not ready for commercial applications. We are working together with solution providers to make this work better and improve the chip to chip variability.