ImmiPrint® Diagnostic Technology

Cluster of Differentiation Antigens

Cluster of differentiation (CD) antigens are proteins that are present on the cell surface of white blood cells and on a variety of other tissue types. They play a key role in cell signalling as well as having a number of other functions. These include the facilitation of cell adhesion and functioning as cell surface receptors. Around 350 CD antigens have been identified to date in humans, and new CD antigens are still being discovered. Many of the CD antigens play an important role in regulating immune responses.

Discovery of Soluble CDs

CD antigens were discovered by Dr César Milstein (Nobel Prize winner, inventor of monoclonal antibodies and co-inventor of ImmiPrint® technology) at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. Milstein subsequently demonstrated that human cell surface CD antigens are released into the bloodstream as soluble forms, which are shed or in some cases made by alternative gene splicing.

In collaboration with colleagues in the Cambridge University Clinical Biochemistry Department, Milstein subsequently showed that patterns of soluble CD antigens (sCDs) in the blood appear to correlate with the presence of specific diseases. This led to the idea that patterns of sCD proteins could be used as the basis of a generalized system that could be used for the diagnosis of multiple different disease types.

From sCDs to ImmiPrints

ProteinLogic has reduced this concept to practice by identifying preliminary sCD patterns (ImmiPrints®) for 14 different diseases representing several different disease types.

Unlike existing diagnostic systems, which measure the levels of only a single or at most two to three different proteins, ImmiPrint® technology uses high-throughput immunoassays to measure multiple immune system proteins in parallel in body fluids.

Powerful pattern recognition software developed in Cambridge UK is then used to analyse databases of proteomic profiles to generate disease-specific sCD biomarker signatures. By this, ProteinLogic has generated a generic biomarker search and discovery platform that has the potential to transform clinical diagnostics

A Unique Approach to Biomarker Discovery

By focusing on a discrete, logical and finite set of diagnostic sCD biomarkers, ProteinLogic Ltd has provided a practical solution to the ‘content problem’, significantly reducing the complexity associated with the proteomic analysis of complex body fluid solutions and the identification of sensitive and specific biomarkers.

ImmiPrint® technology is unique as it enables the same set of immune system sCD biomarkers to be used for all disease types. Each disease is characterized by its own specific sCD proteomic barcode. ImmiPrint® technology provides a universal search engine for the rapid, efficient and cost-effective discovery of diagnostic sCD biomarker signatures.

Diagnostic Applications of ImmiPrints

ProteinLogic’s ImmiPrint® technology has the potential to impact the clinical diagnostics market and the emerging market for predictive and other biomarker applications. Potential uses of ImmiPrint® technology include the discovery of biomarkers for:

  • Early, accurate and non-invasive diagnosis
  • Prediction of which patients are likely to respond to therapeutic interventions
  • Monitoring response to drug interventions
  • Shortening the length of clinical trials by identifying surrogate markers of clinical efficacy
  • Disease stratification according to prognosis and clinical outcome
  • Identification of patients at risk of drug toxicity
  • Monitoring disease progression
  • Detection of minimal residual disease

Advantages of ImmiPrint Technology

The advantages of ImmiPrint® technology include:

  • Simplification of the biomarker discovery process through the profiling of a discreet set of immune system (sCD) proteins
  • High diagnostic sensitivity and specificity
  • Provision of a generic ‘one size fits all’ approach to biomarker discovery
  • Reduced development and validation time due to the availability of multiple high quality sCD reagents
  • Delivery of rapid and inexpensive blood tests that have the potential o outperform existing methods and to address significant unmet medical needs
  • Applicability to a wide range of different diseases