Biotech Support Group LLC - The Company
Biotech Support Group LLC was founded in 2004 by Swapan Roy, Ph.D., expanding upon a career in biotechnology research at major pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Roy developed a new polymer coating – called NuGel™ which pioneered porous silica based chromatography for bioseparations. Yet the “omics” revolution demanded new and different sample prep separations that were not efficiently performed by conventional technologies. For years the protein separations toolkit was limited to liquid chromatography and gel electrophoresis. While effective for many applications, such tools were not efficient for “omics” sample preparation, when throughput, economy and simplicity were required. Furthermore, these same separation tools most often denatured proteins which limited there use in applications which required the measurement of function, structure or bio-activity. Such retained functional and structural properties were essential for functional proteomics and for enrichment of enzyme biomarkers, important new areas for translational research.
The mission of the company now serves the explosive growth in proteomic sample prep, with unique and proprietary surface chemistries. We are dedicated to create new methods and applications to drive efficient workflows and better data quality for all downstream proteomic and biomarker analyses. While selective protein binding is the focus of the surface chemistries, the products crossover to other “omic” fields, finding applications in genomics and DNA isolation, and now metabolomics.
Biotech Support Group LLC - Technology Platforms
The two most significant challenges in proteomics are: to overcome the analytical bias towards the most abundant proteins, and to distill the complexity of the proteome to a manageable number of biomarker proteins that can be analyzed in more depth. Consequently, sample prep is essential for these purposes, as it can support:
- Enrichment of specialized sub-proteomics or alternatively - depletion high abundance protein(s)
- Efficient and consistent trypsin digestion prior to LC-MS.
- Streamlined workflows to minimize handling, potential for variance and decreased costs.
NuGel™ Silica Surface Chemistry
To assist in all 3 aspects at once, we apply the NuGel™ surface chemistry for passivation and covalent immobilization, making NuGel™ an ideal support for proteome separations. Through a proprietary polymer coating, 50 µm porous silica is crosslinked forming a reactive Poly-Epoxy functionality stable across a wide pH range (pH 2 to 10). From this platform chemistry, a library of bead architectures have been created, each bead surface in the library featuring a singular mixed-mode interacting small compound ligand; each ligand combines mixed mode elements of ionic, aliphatic and aromatic hydrophobicity, and polymeric characteristics. One can think of these binding interactions in different terms; as general non-specific protein adsorbents, or as bead matrices with weak affinity or imperfect fit interactions. In this way, their binding behavior is very different from classical high affinity binding which demands near perfect fits. When conditions support protein binding saturation,
progressive displacement allows the beads to bias for or against certain
So in this manner, all
derivative NuGel™ products were empirically characterized to meet the needs of
the application; for example, HemoVoid™ to selectively void (not bind)
hemoglobin while capturing the majority of the remaining low abundance proteome
on the bead. NuGel™ bead products are supplied as dry powders, and NuGel™ based
kits include all necessary buffers to meet the application requirements.
Polymer Surface Chemistry
Along with the NuGel™ based products, ProCipitate™, and related products Viraffinity™, and HemogloBind™ come from a family of acid-alcohol elastomeric co-polymers. These products were the inventions of John Krupey, Ph.D., in the mid-1990s, and first commercialized by Affinity Technology (New Brunswick, NJ). Dr. Krupey was an early diagnostics researcher on cancer glycoproteins like carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). He empirically configured polymers in unique ways to have separation characteristics like salts and solvents, but with the mechanical advantages of solid-phases: simple removal of the bound macromolecules with no carryover of the solute, and adaptability to filtration, centrifugation, and automation. These products continue to find new applications and uses in a variety of fields. The metallic oxide based products, Cleanascite™ and KinaSorb™, were also created from Dr. Krupey’s research on surface chemistries that had selective lipid, phospho-lipid, and phosphate binding properties.
In this way all of our proteomic sample prep and enrichment products collectively feature:
The BSG Advantage
- Consumable use, not derived from biologicals
- Functional Integrity, suitable for functional and chemical proteomics
- On-bead digestion, improves performance and workflow
- Strategies for both enrichment of low abundance proteomes, or depletion of high abundance proteins.
LC-MS, Biomarker Discovery Research
Depletion & Enrichment
DNA & RNA Research
Our products are sold worldwide into growing research markets including publicly sponsored research, academia, and commercial biopharmaceuticals. The proteomics market is driven by technological advancements in Liquid Chromatography coupled to Mass Spectrometry instrumentation. This has allowed for rapid methods development to support peptide and protein sequence annotation, along with label and label-free quantitation of peptide, proteins and their post-translational modifications. Public repositories of genomic, transcription and now proteomic data can now be mined to profile disease and personalize medical treatment options. Our products help to make such data possible, more efficient and more cost-effective.
Furthermore, most efforts in proteomics seek to identify and sequence annotate the proteome by LC-MS analyses of peptides derived through proteolytic processing. While such efforts have been very productive, a critical assumption is that function is linearly proportional to protein abundance. However, this is often not the case as conformational variability affects functional activity in a non-linear fashion. In different tissues, or under stress or disease conditions, protein sequences that are normally associated with one function, may perform alternative functions - that is what we call the multi-functional proteome. This multi-functional proteome can now be monitored, cataloged and annotated, first by resolving functionally active proteins, and from there, sequence and structurally annotating the subset proteome that presents that function. As a consequence, functionally measured biomarkers may provide a higher dynamic range or more discreet characterization than abundance based biomarkers. Functional Proteomics therefore supports top-down discovery strategies that start with functional annotation of the structurally intact protein, and ends with sequence and structural annotation. Such strategies demand separations that retain function and structural integrity – a feature of all of our products.
Business Plan Potential
The company is poised for rapid growth as cost effective and efficient sample prep methods will be essential for expanding markets. We foresee:
- Continued growth in the consumable research area following the installation of LC-MS instrument and computational infrastructure.
- Cultural and technological disruptions forthcoming in heathcare. Particularly, we foresee personalized health monitoring with adoption of protein marker base-lining for high risk individuals for diabetes, cancer (i.e., CA125, CEA), cardiovascular, etc. Such monitoring will require collection of biological fluids such as blood, urine or saliva and simple ways to either measure with over-the-counter kits, or preserve and mail to specialized laboratories. All such methods will require specialized sample prep and enrichment technologies.
- The integration of therapeutics, diagnostics and biomarkers into personalized medicine will demand engagement with many ‘omic’ technologies. We envision through biopharm partnerships, growing a knowledgebase in functional and chemical proteomics. From such a knowledgebase, biomarker assets surrounding chemical interactomes, disordered sequence and multifunctional proteomes will be derived.
Our DNA isolation product – ProCipitate™ was used throughout the Human Genome Sequencing Project.
We have a worldwide customer base, including key reagent supply for Battelle National Laboratories, Cleveland Clinic, Morton General Hospital (Seattle), Mount Sinai School of Medicine (New York), USDA (Ames, IA), US Center for Disease Control, US Federal Drug Administration, and US Army Medical Research Institute. The variety of research areas include cancer, Alzheimer’s, malaria, diabetes, neurological and Food Environmental Safety.
We pioneered Functional Proteomics separations and On-Bead Digestion of complex proteomes.
- We were the first to use bead-based separations to distinguish a related tissue using a functional biomarker from a complex proteome solely based on enzymatic reactions and substrate selection.
- We were the first to use on-bead digestion of an albumin depleted serum proteome with demonstrated improvements of workflow and protein annotations, compared to alternative depletion and in-solution methods.
We collaborate with Rutgers Proteomics Center on methods to improve LC-MS workflows so as to provide cost-effective data output.
We collaborate with ArrayBridge (St. Louis, MO) on new gel-based functional proteomic strategies, and methods to sequence annotate the multi-functional proteome.
We collaborate with Process Stream (Princeton, NJ) on bioinformatics and computational methods.
Biotech Support Group has mentored many students and interns who subsequently achieved advanced degrees and placement in a variety of professions. We are constantly seeking motivated people, regardless of experience with interest and aptitude in proteomics research, marketing, sales, and bioinformatics. If you think that you contribute to our company’s success, please contact us at our main office by telephone or email.