. .

Advanced Diagnostics and Analytics

The diagnostic value chain

The key to effective therapeutic interventions is often through early diagnosis, and this has been greatly advanced in recent years through innovations in molecular diagnostics and personalised medicine. Austria has been at the forefront of these developments, from the discovery of biomarkers through to the manufacture of equipment for IVD diagnostics and the actual handling of specimens for analysis.

Contents

  1. Biomarkers
  2. Laboratory supplies
  3. Diagnostic chips
  4. Image analysis
  5. Nanosensor technology
  6. Molecular diagnostics

Biomarkers


Biocrates Life Sciences has established itself as a leading company in the field of diagnostic biomarker research. The company identifies and quantifies endogenous metabolites in body fluids and tissue samples and further develops them into useful biomarkers. So far, a pipeline of metabolic biomarkers for cancer but also for diabetes and kidney diseases has been set up. Biocrates’ experience in biomarker discovery has resulted in the development of the first mass-spectrometry-based metabolomics kits, AbsoluteIDQ® p150 Kit and AbsoluteIDQ® p180 Kit. The kit pipeline is being extended by additional research kits. Beside its own biomarker pipeline the company is supporting other research organisations in the development of their biomarker panels.

The key to the discovery of new disease biomarkers is the careful gathering and studying of biological materials derived from patients. Austria has been at the forefront of this “biobanking” in Europe. For example, the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Biospecimen Research and Biobanking Technologies at the Medical University of Graz is working in collaboration with QIAGEN on new approaches and technologies in biobanking and biospecimen research. The technologies developed and knowledge generated will also provide the rationale for a series of new diagnostics and therapeutic approaches.

Of particular note is the COMET-funded project BioPersMed – “biomarkers for personalised medicine” – at the Medical University of Graz which is now in its second year. Researchers and the Biobank at the university are working in conjunction with industry focusing on finding biomarkers in common metabolic diseases such as cardiovascular, metabolic, bone and liver diseases.

Laboratory supplies


One of Austria’s oldest and best known life science companies is Greiner Bio-One, a world-market leader in the field of biotechnology, diagnostics and pharmaceuticals with a distribution network in more than 100 countries and about 1700 employees. Greiner Bio-One is a global player in plastics and laboratory supplies with special products for blood, urine and specimen collection. These products are important in pre-analytics where the collection, labelling, transport and storage of blood, urine or saliva forms the first part of the value chain in the diagnostic process.

Diagnostic chips


Another part of the value chain where Austria has a pivotal role to play is in the development of innovative diagnostic chip design. Lambda, a subsidiary of Greiner Bio-One, offers DNA-chip technology with a focus on detection and diagnosis of bacteria and viruses. As well as the production of ready-to-use-kits, Lambda also has interests in developing its chips for use in food diagnostics and quality control products for the pharmaceutical industry.

VBC Genomics Bioscience Research was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the University of Vienna and as part of the Vienna Biocentre. The company’s core activities used to consist of five synergetic research areas of life science and diagnostics, genomic services, proteomics, biochip-technology and bioinformatics. After an acquisition by Phadia, the company was renamed to Phadia Austria. The Phadia group was recently acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Image analysis


TissueGnostics provides a new generation of analysis tools for research and medical diagnosis and is the first manufacturer to offer a quantitative analysis of tissue sections and cell cultures by automated microscopy and state-of-the-art image analysis (including machine-learning techniques). The company has a strong network within the industry and academia as well as strong Intellectual Property Rights covered by worldwide patents.

Nanosensor technology


VASEMA is an innovative high-tech medical device company that develops and manufactures precision instruments for the detection and diagnosis of skin diseases. The company is a certified manufacturer of high-quality products based on its patented nanosensor technology which stands for reliability, security and speed.

Molecular diagnostics


An accurate and clear diagnosis forms the basis for the state-of-the art treatment of disease, and advanced molecular diagnostics can give a clear window onto biomarkers and disease processes that enable accurate decisions to be made by the doctor. Austrian companies are producing world-leading analytical devices. In fact, in the near future special medical devices developed in Austria will even be used for the first human explorations of the planet Mars.

The German pharmaceutical company B. Braun is a pioneer in molecular diagnostics and recently opened a development office in order to test a new glucose sensor. The optical glucose sensor is intended to reduce morbidity and mortality in intensive care units and shorten ICU lengths of stay. The strict blood glucose monitoring enabled by the sensor in combination with an insulin treatment protocol makes this possible.

Another company pushing the boundaries in this field is Ionimed, a medical device company with expertise in the detection and quantification of trace amounts of volatile organic compounds. Due to this specific knowledge, Ionimed has constructed analytical instruments based on the technique of proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) as well as the respective gas calibration equipment.

Lexogen‘s proprietary SQUARE technology presents a unique, hypothesis-free approach to reduce the complexity of the transcriptome and empowers Next Generation Sequencing technologies to sequence and quantify all splice variants in which genes are expressed. Lexogen’s SQUARE technology will provide unprecedented insight in molecular pathways.

Right down the value chain, Austria is innovating in diagnostics and it is the interplay and business cooperation between these companies and some of the leading global diagnostic companies that gives Austria such a pivotal position in this industry.

    NO ACTIVE WIDGETS