PlexPress commercialises VTT's method for gene expression analysis

Business activities in Silicon Valley under way

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PlexPress Oy, a Finnish spin-off company of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, will commercialise a method developed by VTT for high-throughput, high-content gene expression analysis. The technology is especially suitable for medical research and clinical diagnostics where there is a need to accurately analyze a focused set of genes from large number of samples in a rapid and cost-effective way. PlexPress is starting business activities in Silicon Valley together with a local entrepreneur.

The method is based on patented TRAC technology, transcription analysis that enables reliable and efficient analysis of a known set of genes from a large number of samples. With the method it is easy to measure the expression of tens of genes without the use of PCR, RNA extraction or radioactive tracers. Excellent reproducibility, cost-efficiency and ease of use are other major benefits of the TRAC method. TRAC compliments traditional so called genome-wide analyses where the expression state of a large number of genes are analysed from a single sample. After genes of interest are found from the genome-wide approach, TRAC can then be used to understand how gene expression changes as a function of disease state, time, or a change in the local cellular environment.

Great market opportunities

There is a growing demand for high-throughput gene expression analyses in pharmaceutical, diagnostics and chemical industries to better understand gene expression behavior. “The global market for gene expression analyses is around 1 billion euro and the market is growing on 10-20 % yearly rate according to estimates. Lately the need for focused analysis methods, which TRAC represents, has been increasing. The most lucrative market is in the United States and we are now actively establishing our business in Silicon Valley” explains Juhani Lahdenperä, the CEO of PlexPress Oy.

Experienced partners lead the way

PlexPress is accessing the U.S. market with the help of INBAC, International Business Acceleration Center. Through its Entrepreneur-in-Residence program INBAC facilitates the access of foreign companies to the US market. Robert E. Dunkle, the Entrepreneur-in-Residence for PlexPress, is finalizing the business plan and obtaining venture capital for PlexPress. “TRAC addresses the next wave of genome analysis required to help understand gene function. The number of applications in this space is growing dramatically” comments Robert E Dunkle.

 


Additional information
    • Tapio Koivu

    • Executive Vice President, Ventures
    • +358 20 722 6943
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