Quanterix Launches Single-Molecule Detection of Proteins, DNA

August 22, 2013

By Bio-IT World Staff 
August 22, 2013 | The Quanterix Corporation launched its Simoa technology—SIngle MOlecule Array—last month making it commercially available for the first time on a fully automated platform for research use only.  
“We do single-molecule detection of proteins and DNA, and this allows the industry to be able to detect these proteins and DNA at unprecedented levels for ELISA technology, explained Paul Chapman, CEO of Quanterix. “We’re upwards of 1000-fold better than existing 4th generation immunoassays.”
The technology was born at Tufts University in the lab of Dr. David Walt, founder of Illumina. The company was founded in 2007, and Chapman joined the company in July of 2012. The company is funded by Bain Capital, Flagship Ventures, ARCH Capital, and In-Q-Tel, a venture firm whose mission is to identify technologies to support the missions of the Central Intelligence Agency. The company also has grants from the National Cancer Institute, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project (QTDP) program. 
Simoa provides the ability to detect, measure, and validate both new and existing biomarkers at concentrations previously unattainable. Simoa has been beta tested in prostate cancer, Crohn’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease applications. 
“The big innovation comes from beads and wells, and being able to separate out and create a 2-billion fold smaller reaction chamber that is really easily detectable,” said Chapman.
The technology has allowed Simoa to show a 1,000-fold improvement over other immunoassays, the company says. The instrument boasts a touchscreen interface, measures both digital and analog signal providing >4 logs of dynamic range, runs up to 10 different analyses in a single assay, and has a processing speed of 80 samples/hour, yielding up to 800 results/hour for a 10-plex.
Quanterix has launched the Simoa technology for research use only. “We’re now supplying to academia, pharma, biotech, CROs and the like,” explained Chapman. In a partnership with bioMérieux, the technology will be launched for FDA-approved use. 
The Simoa consumables also make use of a Sony product. The Simoa HD-1 Analyzer uses a “Smart Consumable” designed and manufactured by Sony DADC BioSciences called the Simoa Disc. 
Prior to commercializing Simoa, Quanterix needed a high-performance optics consumable that met the requirements of high sensitivity diagnostic testing and lent itself to high volume manufacturing processes at a low cost. Through its relationship with Sony DADC, Quanterix was able to develop a strategy to performing single-molecule isolation and detection in micro arrays of microwells in a low-cost polymeric device configuration. The Quanterix Simoa disc leverages established high-volume polymer replication based on optical disc technology for low cost manufacturing of disposable single molecule arrays.