PharmaDiagnostics’ SoPRano (TM) wins prestigious product award at SBS 2011

PharmaDiagnostics NV, a company developing and marketing a broadly-enabling, label-free screening technology that uniquely does not require specialized equipment, announces today that their SoPRano(TM) technology has won its third award in 12 months. SoPRano was awarded an SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening) New Product Award (NPA) Designation at SBS 2011, the conference and exhibition highlighting pharmaceutical and biomolecular screening technologies in Florida March 27 – 31, 2011. PharmaDiagnostics’ SoPRano technology was awarded the NPA Designation by a panel of scientific specialists chaired by Al Kolb of KeyTech Solutions, and including Charles Lunn of Merck and Ricardo Macarron of GSK. SoPRano was selected for the prize from a large range of products at the exhibition at which 155 different companies were exhibiting.

The yearly SBS conference is organized by the Society for Laboratory Automation & Screening (SLAS), an international community of more than 10,000 individual scientists, engineers, researchers, technologists and others from academic, government and commercial laboratories. SLAS provides forums for education and information exchange to encourage study and advance laboratory science and technology for the drug discovery, agrochemical, biotechnology, chemical, clinical diagnostic, consumer product, energy, food, forensic, pharmaceutical, security and other industries.

This is the third time in the last 12 months that PharmaDiagnostics SoPRano has won a first prize technology award at a leading exhibition. In addition to the prize at SBS 2011, PharmaDiagnostics also won the ELRIG Technology Prize twice in 2010. This was at Drug Discovery 2010, Coventry, in September 2010 and Liquid Handling & Label Free Technologies 2010 in March 2010.

Label-free screening is an area of great interest and potential growth in pharmaceutical research. To date, the expanding SPR segment of this market has been dominated by providers of expensive specialist instrumentation that is unable, due to technical constraints, to provide the throughput required for routine adoption of label-free screening. PharmaDiagnostics’ SoPRano label-free platform is the first SPR-based system to utilize standard plate-readers, and simple assay protocols. This makes for increased accessibility for researchers, lowers barrier to adoption and also offers excellent scalability, thus lowering costs, as it is not necessary to increase instrument expenditure to increase throughput.

“Winning our third prize in 12 months, this time from the SBS 2011 conference at which we are assessed against many multinational suppliers, is continued demonstration that SoPRano’s appeal to industry and academic experts is real and ongoing,” said Dr David Ricketts, CEO at PharmaDiagnostics. “SoPRano was chosen by a select panel of well respected industry figures. This prize at the SBS conference is further proof that the potential of a label-free platform that requires no expensive instrumentation, and offers high throughput, is recognized by key members of the industry.”

About PharmaDiagnostics NV

PharmaDiagnostics NV develops label-free screening technology with the unique capability in its market of operating without the need for specialized hardware. The technology is broadly enabling and applicable to a range of applications including: receptor-ligand binding; enzymatic reactions; antibody screening and ADME. The assays are very sensitive and have the potential for very high throughput. The company is focused upon licensing its technology for use in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and also offers bespoke assay development services.  In addition the company is seeking collaborations to develop applications in compound screening, particularly fragment screening and antibody screening. PharmaDiagnostics’ novel technology platform, SoPRano(TM), is based on localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) and noble metal nanoparticles, and is run on standard laboratory equipment.

The company, based in the Z1 Research Park in Zellik, near Brussels, was founded in 2007. It has raised more than EUR 4.0 million (USD 5.6M) in two rounds of venture funding and EUR 100,000 in grants from IWT (Instituut voor de aanmoediging van innovatie door Wetenschap & Technologie in Vlaanderen), a Flemish innovation agency.