The Situation: Identification of New Molecular Targets. The sequencing of the Human Genome has revealed information of potentially great value for therapeutic and diagnostic applications but requires the development of parallel technologies for its efficient exploitation. The emerging field of 'chemical genomics' focuses on the characterization of small molecules and peptides as molecular targets and drug candidates. SerOptix possesses novel technology and a powerful target identification strategy that can be efficiently used to identify differences in the chemical genomic profile between diseased and healthy states.

The Problem: The search for therapeutic markers is presently segregated into discovery strategies directed to specific molecular classes such as nucleic acids, protein, peptides or small molecules without elucidation of their molecular interactions. This effort typically requires massive information sorting of gene expression, molecular abundance and mass spectrometric data. The eventual identification of molecular targets requires the establishment of a definitive association between candidate molecules and specific disease process. Unfortunately, the identification of useful targets is often obscured by the need to analyze subtle molecular changes on a background of common molecular profiles, or by a limited understanding of the physiological role of the identified target.

The Solution: Spectra-Molecular Informatics. SerOptix has developed a new flexible approach based on intrinsic, or natural, fluorescence to identify the molecular signature of disease. This method, called Spectra-Molecular Informatics (SMI), combines elements of biochemistry, spectroscopy, statistical modeling and informatics to measure and interpret the interaction of molecules and molecular complexes with light. Our research and development over the last three years has provided a substantial proof-of-principle for this strategy, supporting our present efforts to enhance this platform technology and apply it to a broad range of diseases. The SMI technology platform creates an efficient means for identifying molecular markers of disease for use in drug development, therapeutic monitoring & diagnostic products.

The Process: SerOptix is establishing multi-dimensional databases for the screening of disease cohorts for Spectra Molecular information useful for defining appropriate disease candidates for expanded detailed study and to support initiation of molecular target discovery efforts. Using a combination of molecular separation strategies and spectroscopic analysis, intrinsic fluorescence differences within a set of molecules are captured. The SerOptix SMI approach utilizes advanced optics and multiple laser excitation for characterization of small molecule, peptide and protein targets. Through a systematic, high throughput process these differences are refined and molecular profiles are established utilizing the sensitivity of fluorescence to detect small changes in concentration, molecular structure, and molecular interactions.

The Comprehensive and Dynamic Database: The two fundamental elements of the SerOptix SMI technology, molecular separations and spectroscopic analyses, form a coherent structure for our data system. The database architecture and complementary system access design provide the primary search engine for identifying initial differences between control and disease groups based on spectral signatures. SerOptix and its partners will share in the power of the unique SMI data matrix and molecular profiling system, and exploit the novel intellectual property contained in the SMI information-base for high value applications of molecular target discovery and molecular modeling of disease. This resource will offer new and creative approaches for understanding disease processes, identification of new product candidates and for monitoring the efficacy of therapeutic intervention, throughout all phases of therapeutic and diagnostic product development .

Commitment to Technological Development: Our systems are designed to take full advantage of progress in laser and optical fiber technology and advances in spectrometer and detector design to precisely identify spectra-molecular signatures of disease with high sensitivity. Analysis of our complex, multi-dimensional databases with advanced pattern recognition systems provides optimized analysis methods for managing our complex information portfolio. Our proprietary analytical tools offer an efficient strategy for the direct identification of changes in the concentration of small molecules and and alterations of protein interactions of potential diagnostic and therapeutic importance.

The Elements of SMI: To efficiently collect and process novel intrinsic fluorescence profile data, SerOptix has developed a series of laser-based fluorescence capture units and data analysis strategies designed to be directly integrated with molecular separation and data mining systems. The Intrinsic Fluorescence Informatics Technology (INFLIT) provides a novel technology for the efficient compilation of high value data-streams at the core of our proprietary information-bases:

  • Optimized methods for blood and tissue extraction

  • The HR-INFLIT systems for high throughput initial spectral surveys

  • The XL-INFLIT system for coupling to state-of-the-art chromatographic methods

  • Integration of XL-INFLIT with mass spectrometry for efficient molecular isolation, identification and validation of fluorescent markers of disease.

  • An expanding SMI database and informatics asset for efficient molecular target identification, and discovery of valuable molecular disease correlates.

The Value of SMI: The SerOptix technology platform was designed for the rapid identification of appropriate disease classes for further investigation by the establishment of definitive spectral discrimination. The full application of the SMI platform with fine molecular separation supports the efficient discovery and validation of biomarkers for therapeutic product development, therapeutic monitoring and diagnostic assays. The value SMI platform will be established through the combination of:

  • A synergistic team of creative biologists, physicists and data analysts with complementary skills and scientific approaches
  • Creation of novel algorithms which permit the definitive identification of unique molecular signatures

  • Establishment of efficient strategies for exploiting these signatures for molecular target identification

  • Elucidation of the biological role of molecular targets in disease processes in support of breakthrough product development

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