Reagent and enzyme manufacturer Promega will supply UK based Lumora with its version of the bioluminescent enzyme luciferase – called Ultra-Glo luciferase – for use in its Bioluminescent Assay in Real-Time (BART) molecular diagnostics technology.
Lumora Commercial Director, Hayden Jeffreys, told Outsourcing-pharma.com that: “Ultra-glo is a luciferase that is able to survive and operate at the elevated temperatures of the BART process.
“This characteristic of the enzyme is because Promega have been ahead of the game with directed evolution of economically important enzymes,” Jeffreys continued, adding that “quality and performance are the key for Lumora when it comes to crucial raw materials.
Industry interest in diagnostics has increased markedly in recent years as pharmaceutical firms have moved away from the blockbuster model to develop new products for smaller patient populations.
Roche has been one of the most active in the companion diagnostics field with – according to a statement issued last year – around two-thirds of the products in its pipeline being developed alongside a diagnostic test indented to identify suitable patients.
Roche Diagnostics – the Swiss drugmaker’s dedicated unit – has also been working with pharmaceutical firms as a service provider.
In September last year, for example, Anglo-Swedish developer AstraZeneca called in the firm to help it develop companion diagnostics for some of its candidate products.
Eli Lilly in contrast has opted to develop a network of companion diagnostics providers the most recent of which, Cogenix, signed up in May.
This demand has not gone unnoticed by the services sector with firms ranging from Northern Ireland’s Almac to Thermo Fisher Scientific all investing in diagnostics development technologies and capabilities.
With this in mind we asked Lumora if the firm would be trying to sell its technology to companies in the services sector. Jeffreys said: “As yet, we don’t have any licensing deals with CROs, particularly so because this is such a new development for Lumora.
“However, with the increasing importance of diagnostics for pharma, this is a potential market for us, and one we would consider entering.”