Ezose Sciences entered an agreement with Merck & Co. to discover biomarkers in the field of diabetes. The collaboration seeks to identify glycans, the complex carbohydrate component of glycoproteins.
The research will make use of Ezose’s GlycanMap® technology. It will focus on the identification of changes in glycan patterns on post-translationally modified proteins from human subjects. This work will build on a series of collaborative studies previously conducted with Merck.
“Ezose is committed to enabling the adoption of glycomics into everyday biomedical research including the important field of biomarker discovery,” says Kiyoshi Nagata, Ph.D., chairman and CEO of Ezose. The GlycanMap platform combines, in an automated 96-well format, high-throughput glycan enrichment with specialized MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and custom bioinformatics.
This allows both the structural identification and quantification of glycans present in complex biological samples, according to Ezose. Such glycans can serve as novel biomarkers to aid in the development of drugs, vaccines, and diagnostic tests. In addition, glycomics holds potential for uncovering new therapeutic targets and mechanisms and for guiding the development and manufacture of glycosylated biologics and biosimilars.
The deal with Merck follows two days after Shionogi took over full ownership of Ezose. The company was established in 2009 as a joint U.S. venture of Shionogi and Sumitomo Bakelite. Ezose now operates as part of Shionogi’s diagnostics division.