Protein expression studies are valued for their ability to identify genes that have been perturbed by disease or drugs, but industrializing such studies has been slowed by intense technical challenges. To date, 2-D gels have been the most effective method, allowing scientists to quantitate differences in expression of less than one-fold. However, the technology is qualitatively not well suited for studying the expression of low abundance proteins, many of which are considered to be important therapeutic targets.

Oxford GlycoSciences plc (LSE:OGS; OGSI, Abingdon, U.K.) believes that it has created an industrial protein expression platform through the combination of mass spectrometry with Isotope Coded Affinity Tag (ICAT) technology under a five-year collaboration with the Institute for Systems Biology (Seattle, Wash.) where Ruedi Aebersold, the developer of ICAT, works.