Protagen AG is dedicated to improve the diagnosis of severe chronic diseases and the associated treatment by investing into dedicated technologies. Protagen has developed the proprietary UNIarray® technology platform for the development of novel diagnostics based on autoantibody signatures in serum or plasma. Autoantibodies are produced by the human immune system, in healthy individuals as well as in disease. Autoantibodies are antibodies which are directed against human proteins, in contrast to other antibodies which may target allergens, bacteria or viruses.
From a functional perspective, autoantibodies are induced by immune system activity in those cases where immune tolerance has not been established, or has been changed by a disease. Therefore, autoantibodies are predominantly formed in response to those disease processes which present “unusual” proteins and protein fragments in an altered form to the immune system. This holds true for many degenerative diseases as well as for diseases with malignant or benign growth, e.g. in neurodegenerative diseases, in cancer, Rheumatoid Arthritis and in other classical autoimmune diseases.
Autoantibodies bear the potential to be utilized for diagnostic purposes and also for personalized medicine approaches, i.e. the targeted development of product specific diagnostics /companion diagnostics which may be used for patient stratification in clinical studies, treatment selection, therapy monitoring, and disease progression testing.
The diagnostic markers discovered in studies using UNIarray® are typically novel, and form the basis of a strong, and growing, patent portfolio. Candidate biomarkers have been discovered in all main indications and are in different stages of validation (see chart). Protagen is actively involved in licensing discussions and encourages both academia and industry to share efforts..