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Biomedical Optics & Medical Imaging

Chromotek raises €400K for chromobody technology

22 July 2010 

High-tech venture capital firms Gründerfonds and Bayern Kapital are investing about €400k in Chromotek GmbH. The investment is intended to fund research and development work aimed at ensuring successful market entry for chromobody technology in the field of living cell analysis.

Chromotek GmbH, an enterprise spun off from the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germay, develops and distributes chromobody technology-based research reagents that can be used in multiple ways and are reliable; namely nanotraps and chromobodies. Nanotraps are already successfully and efficiently used to isolate and screen for cellular components in proteome research.

The use of special mini antibodies, known as chromobodies, makes it possible for the first time to screen cellular target structures in living cells in real time. The aim with chromobody technology is to set new benchmarks in biomedical research and the development of pharmaceutical active ingredients (high-content screening). The first products in this segment are to reach the market as early as 2011.

Chromobodies are a new kind of fluorescent nanoprobe that are extremely small, very stable and economical to produce. They are ideal tools for a large variety of analytical and preventive applications in biomedicine. In contrast to conventional antibodies, chromobodies are suited to real-time screening in living cells and are therefore ideal reagents for high-content analysis (HCA), which is a new technology in pre-clinical research that makes it possible to indentify and select relevant active ingredients at an early stage.

The detection and functional characterisation of cellular target structures is the focus of a large number of biomedical screening processes. The visualisation of dynamic processes in cellular systems for both basic research and the development of pharmaceutical active ingredients is assuming an increasingly important role here. The technological possibilities, involving for example high-throughput microscopy, for such analyses have developed at a rapid pace in the past few years. At the same time, a very high demand has emerged for efficient, economical and above all reliable screening reagents and processes.

"Having successfully established our first product line (nanotraps for cleaning biological probes) on the market, the successful development and validation of chromobody technology for developing pharmaceutical active ingredients is now exceptionally important to Chromotek's sustained growth. We are delighted to have found, in High-Tech Gründerfonds und Bayern Kapital, partners who are prepared in this day and age to share the high risk that the development of biotech processes entails," says Chromotek GmbH's chief executive, Dr Ulrich Rothbauer.