KeyChain PNA

Altratech uses PNA Technology to address the fundamental complication of extracting genetic material from a biological sample. KeyChain PNA offers a purely synthetic alternative to biotinylation; it is reversible, tuneable, and programmable. KeyChain PNA will enable users to both multiplex and simplify sample preparation applications in a way which is not currently possible.

Altratech uses PNA Technology to address the fundamental complication of extracting genetic material from a biological sample. KeyChain PNA offers a purely synthetic alternative to biotinylation; it is reversible, tuneable, and programmable. KeyChain PNA will enable users to both multiplex and simplify sample preparation applications in a way which is not currently possible.

In the 1970s, the avidin-biotin system was established as a powerful tool in biological sciences. Adding biotin to biomolecules such as antibodies allowed the strong affinity of this system to be exploited in biotechnological applications ranging from diagnostics to medical devices to pharmaceuticals. Modified variants of avidin (neutravidin, streptavidin) improved robustness performance but the core affinity remains, largely unaltered, as a workhorse of biotechnology.

A fundamental complication in this system is the presence of biotin in the sample or body; the focal point for Altratech’s research and development leading to the invention of the KeyChain PNA probe / viral RNA capture assay. KeyChain PNA offers a purely synthetic alternative to biotinylation, directly addressing the earlier complication. It is reversible, tuneable, and programmable as it is based on complementary biorthogonal PNA sequences. These do not interact with native RNA or DNA sequences.

KeyChain PNA will enable users to multiplex in their diagnostic & sample preparation applications in a way which is not possible currently.

Another fascinating application is in replacing streptavidin where it has been used in pre-targeted immunotherapy. Monoclonal antibodies against cancer cell-specific antigens are conjugated with streptavidin and, after binding to the cancer, radioactive biotin is injected which binds to the streptavidin. Hurdles involving natural biotin saturating the sites and streptavidin accumulating non-specifically in the kidneys do not arise where KeyChain PNAs are used instead in this application.

Dr. Brian O’Farrell , CSO/Director, Altratech.

Three decades of research and four Nobel Prize winners directly contributed to the discovery of PCR with the basic building blocks of the technology being in place by 1980. Kary Mullis invented it in 1983 and won Nobel Prize for it ten years later.

We offer a paradigm shift from PCR to a new way of detecting and quantifying genetic material.

Patents

Papers

  • Novel KeyChain PNA’s used for rapid and highly specific sample preparation for conventional molecular testing

  • Detection of Pathogens; Whole genome mining for the design of PNA probes using RoCAP