APTAMER : Small single-stranded nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) for virus detection

Summary of the technology

An aptamer is a small single-stranded nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) capable of adopting a three-dimensional structure that gives it the ability to bind to its target with remarkable specificity and affinity. Therefore, aptamers are a very promising technology for overcoming the drawbacks and limitations faced by antibodies and molecular assays in the framework of viral diagnostic test development. However, very few aptamers are described for virus detection. and no solutions integrating the technical and commercial benefits of aptamers is currently available on the virus detection market.

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)

Details of the Technology Offer

Background:Throughout the world, there are a large number of outbreaks related to foodborne and waterborne viruses. In recent years, there has been a considerable increase in the development and number of methods to detect them in different matrices, reflecting the recognition of the increased importance of such viral diseases. Currently, no detection solutions incorporating the benefits of aptamers are available on the market, mainly due to the entrenched nature of molecular- and antibody-based diagnostic assays for viral diseases. However, some limitations remain using these detection assays, the main one being the inability to indicate the presence of infectious organisms, which is essential information for risk assessment studies.

Benefits:Aptamers are more stable, faster and inexpensive to produce, and possess a longer shelf life and a higher specificity to their target than corresponding antibodies. The in vitro selection process is also a major asset, which makes it possible to customize aptamers to reach all expected features.

Applications:

To improve the detection of infectious viral diseases, LIST has developed adenovirus-specific aptamers leading to a patent (WO2020126435A1). The patent describes the aptamers sequences, characteristics as well as many putative industrial applications. On this basis, a diagnostic kit for rapid, efficient, and cost-effective detection of adenoviruses could be developed in the near future. The main benefits of such technology, as confirmed by the tests performed during the R&D phase are (i) information on the risk of the virus, (ii) low detection limit, (iii) low cost and (iv) rapid (hrs) in detecting.

A market study validated the strong potential of our technology and possible applications to the diagnostic tools market. The expected benefits of our technology are deemed to be largely in line with user needs. They include the ability to reduce costs and provide rapid detection. Moreover, the in-depth discussions with interviewees gave us a better understanding of the limitations of the currently available tools as well as the users' expectations and needs. This information is essential, and we will use it as a road map to design a prototype for a detection kit relevant to the market.

Finally, yet importantly, the evidence of market is now a reality for our technology. All interviewees confirmed the growing interest of companies in new technologies using aptamers, which reinforces our conviction that the use of such molecules can be an essential element of tomorrow's diagnostic technologies.

Opportunity:There is the opportunity for an industrial partner to collaborate with LIST on further scientific improvements and optimization with the aim to ultimately bring the technology to market. From LIST side, selection of new aptamers is already planned with the objective to obtain more powerful aptamer candidates, but also new aptamers aiming at other viruses of interest to increase our patent portfolio and offer a multiplexing solution in the future.

IP Status:Dna aptamers specific of adenovirus types (WO2020/126435 A1)

Figures:Figure 1: Equilibrium dissociation curves for the aptamer. Purified HAdV2 (107MPN/reaction) was screened with different concentration (0.4 to 800 nM) of aptamer using ELASA.

Companies of interest:

Novaptech, FRANCE and similar company profiles

Desired business relationship

Technology development

Licensing

Related Keywords

  • Biological Sciences
  • Medicine, Human Health
  • Clinical Research, Trials
  • Gene - DNA Therapy
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Infection / Inflammation
  • Genetic Engineering / Molecular Biology

About Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)

The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is a mission-driven Research and Technology Organisation (RTO) active in the fields of materials, environment and IT.
LIST develops competitive and market-oriented product/service prototypes for public and private stakeholders, and works across the entire innovation chain: fundamental/applied research, incubation, transfer of technologies.
By transforming scientific knowledge into technologies, smart data and tools, LIST empowers citizens in their choices, public authorities in their decisions and businesses in their strategies.

Fabian Belin

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