Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are biomolecules that have been used clinically for many years. Best known is heparin that has served as an anticoagulant in the clinic for more than 60 years. Defined GAG oligosaccharides are key to establish defined structure-activity relationships for specific interactions with proteins as a first step to modulate processes underlying viral entry, angiogenesis and diseases of the central nervous system.
Work funded by an ongoing ERC Advanced Grant has resulted in a synthesis process that can be executed on a fully automated GAG synthesizer. Using this process, defined GAG oligosaccharides representing heparin and chondroitin sulfate, can now be prepared in days rather than months or years.
The overall goal of the proof-of-concept project is to establish a differentiated business model for a company that will focus on that will oversee the creation of an automated GAG synthesizer, the building blocks needed to feed the instrument and the production processes of defined GAG oligosaccharides or a combination of these three areas. As a result, it will help to define the market potential for the use of complex glycans on microarrays and as tools for next generation diagnostic and therapeutic applications. The specific activities include: 1) Development of a specification for the automated GAG synthesizer as a commercial instrument; 2) Plan the production of monosaccharide building blocks and establish a cost structure; 3) Plan the production of defined GAG oligosaccharides and establish a cost structure; 4) Analysis of the IP space and development of an IP strategy; 5) Establish a basis for commercial discussion with potential customers; 6) Prepare a business plan for discussions with investors; 7) Incorporate a company to commercialize one or all aspects of automated GAG oligosaccharide synthesis.
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