Open Science antibody characterization project receives $4-million grant
YCharOS is an independent quality assessment initiative to improve research results
An antibody characterization project with partners at The Neuro will be able to expand thanks to funding from Génome Québec.
On March 9, the provincial genomics funding organization announced that YCharOS is among six projects funded through this year’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAAP). YCharOS is an Open Science company that characterizes commercially available antibody reagents for all human proteins. Its GAAP funding share will be $4 million through 2024.
Commercially available antibodies are key reagents in laboratory research with global sales estimated to be $2-3 billion USD. However, despite the size of the market and the importance of the product there is no independent, state-of-the-art quality assessment body for antibodies and as a result at least half of the antibodies on the market do not perform as required – leading to billions of dollars of wasted funding and a crisis of experimental reproducibility. YCharOS has developed a new characterization process that involves knockout cell lines that do not express the target protein.
With these cell lines as controls, and with inventive characterization steps, antibody performance against the cognate target protein can be quantified and compared in a range of commercially relevant applications. The long-term business model involves customers paying YCharOS to perform antibody studies on protein targets selected by one of the customers with a goal of attaining $9M in annual revenue by the end of the project and saving Canadian taxpayers $45M annually by enabling our scientists to order the right antibody for their experiments. The results of these analyses will be shared with the scientific community.
YCharOS industrializes the rigorous methodology established at The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) in collaboration with the Structural Genomics Consortium.
GAPP was created to promote partnerships between industry end users, public end users and university researchers. This program helps to harness the potential of economics to increase the competitiveness of key sectors of the Québec economy. GAPP is a solutions-based program that demonstrates how mature the technology is and how eager users are to accelerate its adoption.
The program follows a cyclical process, launched three times per year. The scale of available funding ranges from $300,000 to $6 million per project.
Source: Génome Québec