7 Years and 4 Million Biosensors Later…
Christopher M. Silva, Vice President, Marketing
Over the last seven years, ForteBio and its Octet® platform have traveled an exciting journey with our customers. With their support, ForteBio, based in Menlo Park, CA, with subsidiaries in London and Shanghai, has become the second-leading — and fastest-growing — provider of label-free analysis tools for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology research fields, according to leading independent market analysis firms.
We launched our first product, the Octet QK system for label-free, real-time detection and analysis of protein-protein interactions, at the Antibody Engineering conference in San Diego in 2005. The revolutionary Octet platform accelerates protein and antibody discovery and development by generating real-time quantitative and kinetics results in higher-throughput formats, quickly and easily. Our ready-to-use, Dip and Read™ disposable biosensors enable researchers to measure concentrations and kinetic rates of critical samples, even in crude matrices, with unprecedented ease of use and cost-effectiveness.
Since then, customer response to our technology and products — including our broadening menu of 13 “off-the-shelf” biosensors — has been overwhelming. To date, we have shipped more than 4 million biosensors and, by 2010, more than 100 literature citations referenced our technology, signaling its strong adoption.
ForteBio’s web site hosts many end-user presentations from scientific conferences detailing productivity gains achieved via Octet. In addition to employing our off-the-shelf biosensor chemistries, users continually develop compelling new applications for our technology by immobilizing a ligand of interest to Streptavidin or Amine-reactive biosensors. Some of these applications include contaminant testing, vaccine development and virus-like particle analysis.
We are constantly working to improve and expand the Octet platform. In March 2008, we launched our second-generation system, Octet RED, whose extended sensitivity and reduced noise enabled small molecule drug discovery applications such as interaction analysis of fragment screening and peptides analysis. The third-generation Octet 384 systems further advanced the platform with automation capabilities and unattended operation in both 96- and 384-well plate formats. In 2010, biosensor re-racking was added to the product line, augmenting workflow flexibility and decreasing running costs.
The wide range of microfluidic-free Dip and Read™ biosensors is key to the Octet platform’s ease of use and fast time to results. For example, Protein A biosensors have facilitated antibody titer in cell line development with quantitation of 96- or 384-well sample plates in minutes, offering a strong alternative to ELISA and HPLC assays, which are labor-intensive and have a lag in time-to-result. Streptavidin biosensors allow researchers to immobilize custom molecules and conduct tailored quantitation, kinetic and affinity measurements.
ForteBio’s biosensor-based solution has two components: a low cost per data point, enabling customers to adopt the Octet platform broadly; and complete solution kits and methods, such as the Host Cell Protein and Residual Protein A assays which include biosensors and requisite reagents. The Octet system has also become a strong tool to complement or replace SPR (surface plasmon resonance) techniques, in which instrument running cost and throughput inefficiencies hinder research productivity. In fact, many Octet users tell us they routinely run antibody screening, epitope binning and affinity characterization studies — applications typically conducted with SPR — using the Octet system.
Our customers have also strongly adopted our recently launched biosensor chemistries and other enhancements including Protein G, Protein L and anti-murine biosensor chemistries, as well as new software tools in Octet Software version 7.0.
ForteBio continues to experience tremendous success, having achieved double-digit growth over the last few years. We could not have accomplished this without the ongoing partnership and support of our valued customers. We thank them and look forward to much continued success together in the coming years.