Bruker said today that it launched the second phase of an ongoing collaboration with SISCAPA Assays Technologies (SAT), intended to exploit the high throughput, robustness, and ease of use of Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization, time-of-flight mass spectrometry, including tandem time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) instruments as an alternative to the nano-LC-MS technology now used in many SISCAPA (stable isotope standards and capture by anti-peptide antibodies) assays.

The value of the collaboration and other financial terms were undisclosed.

After focusing on confirming the utility and quantitative precision of the SISCAPA-MALDI workflow in the collaboration’s first phase, Bruker said it plans to establish fully automated SISCAPA-MALDI capabilities in its demonstration facilities. The goal, Bruker said, was to allow potential customers to evaluate SISCAPA-MALDI instrumentation and workflows, as well as enable high-level applications and service support for such customers by Bruker staffers.

“This will enable Bruker, in partnership with SAT, to sell SISCAPA-MALDI MS to customers and to support the many enthusiastic early adopters who have expressed interest in this technology,” Detlev Suckau, Ph.D., director of proteomics at Bruker’s Bruker Daltonics unit.

Bruker and SAT said they plan to jointly investigate the development of new assays for the SISCAPA-MALDI workflow—especially assays relevant to clinical microbiology, since the companies’ earlier work has shown that such assays could be run on the benchtop microflex LT, the same mass spectrometer employed in the Bruker MALDI Biotyper.

Additional SISCAPA assays will be validated and parameters, such as the limit of quantitation and limit of detection, will be determined. Successful validation and clearance for clinical use of such assays would immediately make them available to the more than 900 clinical microbiology laboratories worldwide that already have a MALDI Biotyper installed, the companies reason.

Bruker and SAT also plan to enable third-party collaborators to develop SISCAPA-MALDI assays for accurate quantification of their own protein targets, for use in research-use-only and clinical research environments. Such assays, according to Bruker, would be useful for customers, such as those wishing to pursue protein quantitation for process optimization or large-scale clinical validation of protein biomarkers.

Bruker and SAT published two papers resulting from their first collaboration phase. One paper, published January 2012 in the Journal of Proteome Research, demonstrated that SISCAPA MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry provided excellent precision for quantitation of proteins of interest, such as that for determination of high-value protein biomarkers. In such a case, the precision was equal to or better than that available in SISCAPA LC-MS/MS workflows, with the improved ease of use that comes from eliminating the need for LC and MS/MS.

The second paper, published in Clinical Chemistry, validated the quantitative precision for a larger cohort of clinically relevant samples, measuring the endogenous levels of protein C Inhibitor from serum samples of patients treated for prostate cancer. A summary of that work will be presented in a poster at the 12th Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) World Congress in Yokohama, Japan, where Bruker made its announcement of the second-phase SISCAPA collaboration.

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