Nanosphere is focused on the development and commercialization of molecular diagnostic systems for ultrasensitive genomic and protein detection, says Winton Gibbons, vp for business development. “Our nanotechnology-based platform, the Verigene System, provides sensitivity for direct genetic and protein detection that is orders of magnitude higher than existing products.”
The Verigene System provides assays for flu, cancer, and cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases with a high multiplexing capability. “We believe that our system provides simple, inexpensive tests for genetic disorders as well as early detection of protein disease markers.”
The company has a number of different targets in the R&D stage, as well as FDA-approved tests for Warfarin metabolism, cystic fibrosis, and a first generation infectious respiratory disease assay. Additionally, Nanosphere is working with pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms to develop potential pharmacogenetic assays or companion diagnostics.
The Verigene equipment uses disposable test cartridges with a microarray format for high-count multiplex assays that insert into the microfluidics processor. The results are rapidly generated and there is no interpretation required, Gibbons notes.
The detection system is based on gold nanoparticle probes that bind to samples immobilized on microarrays. The nanoparticles are complexed with antibodies or with DNA probes depending on the particular test being performed. The protein-detection system can detect as low as zeptomolar levels of target.
“Through our nanotechnology approach, we are able to address the major limitations of existing technologies, providing lower cost and faster turnaround time with an easy-to-use platform. We have an extensive pipeline and portfolio with substantial rights to intellectual property from Northwestern University’s International Institute for Nanotechnology.”