Andrew Brown, Chief Commercial Officer
In the field of drug discovery and development, we have irrefutably come a long way in our pursuit of excellence. However for many cancers, autoimmune disorders, and certain infectious diseases, among others, effective therapies remain beyond our grasp. Fortunately, pharmaceutical companies are working relentlessly to develop advanced immunotherapy approaches in these disease areas though numerous challenges stand in the way of their innovation. To begin with, there is an acute need for multi-faceted, high-parameter single cell readouts from limited sample inputs to identify informative biomarker signatures. Meanwhile the highly complex nature of the underlying biology coupled with the big data, multi-omic readouts generated can be challenging to interpret. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies often seek expert guidance on the best approaches including which platform(s) to utilize, which multiplex panel(s) to develop and how best to interrogate the resultant big data to gain meaningful insights. Enter Sirona Dx.
A technical contract research organization (CRO), Sirona Dx specializes in high complexity genomics and proteomics services to support pharmaceutical companies with their drug discovery and development programs. Be it for exploratory testing and biomarker development, or clinical trials and companion diagnostics, Sirona Dx offers the latest technologies and guides clients to the assays and platforms that best match their requirements.
Sirona Dx is effectively accelerating the pace of immunotherapy and targeted therapy development by bridging the silos between the pharma and life sciences tools industry. What differentiates the company from other players is its deep relationships with leading life science tools and platform providers which allows pharma clients to access cutting-edge technologies even before they are commercially available. In contrast to its competitors who wait for the latest platforms to arrive as the finished product, Sirona Dx embraces new technology at an early stage, often assisting with product development and producing a win for all parties.
A good example of this innovative approach is in the area of multiplexed tissue imaging where Sirona Dx is a pioneer and provides comprehensive end-to-end solutions for spatially-resolved, highly multiplexed biomarker analysis. Leveraging premium technologies like Imaging Mass Cytometry (developed by Fluidigm) and CODEX ultra-high plex imaging (developed by Akoya Biosciences), pharmaceutical companies are no longer constrained by the limitations of traditional IHC and can image up to 40 biomarkers in the same tissue section at single cell resolution.
Our CLIA accredited, technology agnostic laboratory offers a comprehensive suite of specialized genomics and proteomics services to deeply profile the immune system and reveal the interplay with the tumor/tissue microenvironment
“Our highly optimized 34 marker Immune Portrait TME Panel, developed for comprehensive analysis of the tumor microenvironment at a sub-cellular resolution, is a work-horse for many of our clients,” remarks Andrew Brown, PhD, Chief Commercial Officer at Sirona Dx. Sirona Dx also utilizes Mass Cytometry for in-depth characterization of immune cell subsets in suspension from whole blood and PBMCs, enabling simultaneous assessment of more than 40 parameters in a single sample.
In addition to leading edge proteomics services, Sirona Dx also supports clients with a portfolio of specialized genomics capabilities including a menu of immune expression profiling assays, unique DNA/RNA extraction methodologies and more. “Our CLIA accredited, technology agnostic laboratory offers a comprehensive suite of specialized genomics and proteomics services to deeply profile the immune system and reveal the interplay with the tumor/tissue microenvironment,” adds Brown. With integrated, leading edge technologies, Sirona Dx can produce comprehensive, multi-omic analysis in a way that is rarely seen in a single laboratory. Be it support with gene expression, microRNA profiling, next-generation sequencing, rare cell enrichment or high parameter single-cell proteomics, Sirona Dx emerges as an essential pharma partner.
Sirona Dx’s deep technical expertise and strong partnerships with key platform providers have also propelled the company into a supporting role during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The company draws on its knowledge of high-parameter Mass Cytometry and Imaging Mass Cytometry to analyze immune cell frequencies and activation responses in patients’ blood and lung tissue. Sirona Dx is also collaborating closely with leading platform providers to offer a faster, more accurate and efficient RNA testing service for COVID-19 infection, leveraging the power of microfluidics for rapid testing of thousands of samples per day.
Since its inception in 2016, Sirona Dx has assembled an extremely strong team and has integrated an impressive suite of capabilities. “Today over 30 pharma and biotech clients rely on Sirona Dx to advance their immune therapy assets. We will continue to be guided by our pharma clients, ensuring that we understand their challenges and are able to support their current and future requirements”, says Brown. In parallel Sirona Dx will continue to work closely with life science tools partners and help them bring new technologies to market that are fit for purpose. “This is an incredibly exciting time for the advancement of molecular and immune therapies. Here at Sirona Dx we are uniquely positioned to assist and are enthusiastically committed to the cause”, says Brown.