World-Renowned Pioneers in Molecular Diagnostics
TATAA Biocenter AB is a European leading genetic testing and service laboratory renowned for expertise in quantitative real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)
TATAA Biocenter was founded in Gothenburg in 2001 by pioneers in nucleic acids analysis using quantitative real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR). Since then the company has become the world’s largest provider of hands-on training in qPCR and Europe’s leading provider of gene expression profiling services, and its subsidiary Life Genomics AB has become Scandinavia’s leading provider of genetic tests.
”Our expertise is nucleic acid sample preparation and analyses,” says Professor Mikael Kubista, Chairman of the board and founder of TATAA Biocenter AB. He is inventor of several of the technologies used at TATAA Biocenter, Head of the Department of Gene Expression at the Institute of Molecular Genetics, Czech Academy of Sciences, and advisor to international giants such as Roche and Life Technologies.
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a key technology in life science research and molecular diagnostics in which a segment of nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) is copied, or ’amplified’, so that it can be more readily analysed. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) is a modification of standard PCR that provides quantitative accuracy because the amplified DNA is measured in real-time. qPCR can be used for the quantification of gene and protein expression, detection of microbes in food and soil samples, diagnostics of pathogens, detection of genetically modified organisms, forensic testing, and detection of mutations and sequence variations known as single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) is used to determine the genetic sequence of the amplified DNA.
”We offer a range of services for pharmaceutical, biotech and diagnostic companies, and to academic researchers, including assay design and optimization, extraction and quality control, quantification by qPCR, microarray or NGS, and biostatistical analysis and modelling,” tells Mikael Kubista.
In collaboration with healthcare providers TATAA subsidiary Life Genomics offers Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) to pregnant women based on NGS analysis of blood samples, and the Nutrifit test based on SNP analysis of saliva samples to individuals seeking to optimise their lifestyle, diet and training programme.
In Gothenburg, TATAA Biocenter has established the TATAA Genomics Core Facility, giving companies and academic researchers the opportunity to use its unique instrument park and cutting-edge laboratories for their experiments.
”It gives them the chance to save time, reduce expenses and access to expertise,” he comments.
Hands-On Training in qPCR
Over the years, TATAA has trained thousands of researchers, technicians, post-graduate students and others in qPCR, NGS and related technologies. The course modules stretch from a single day to a full week, and most courses consist of both theoretical and practical parts.
Being renowned for their expertise and leading position in the field of molecular diagnostics, TATAA is partner in several research projects supported by the EU, for instance EurHEALTHAgeing – epigenetic studies of ageing on identical twins and CANCER-ID, a newly formed European consortium funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) aiming at the establishment of standard protocols for and clinical validation of blood-based biomarkers for cancer.
Researchers from TATAA Biocenter contribute to expert panels developing guidelines for international organisations, such as ISO and CEN, on quality control and quality assurance in molecular diagnostics.
TATAA Biocenter is also involved in a number of projects closer to home. For instance, studying cancer progression by single cell profiling with the Cancer Centre at the Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University.
”Ten years ago, we were first in the world measuring expression profiles in single cells,” says Mikael Kubista.
Another project investigates what happens at surfaces of dental implants and is conducted within the research programme Biomatcell at the University of Gothenburg in close cooperation with Nobel Biocare. With AstraZeneca and the University of Gothenburg, TATAA Biocenter collaborates on tissue regeneration with the long-term ambition of creating entire organs for transplantation. With Cellartis TATAA Biocenter identified markers for embryonic stem cell differentiation.
”In addition, we work with a number of smaller local companies and university spin-offs supporting their research and development,” Mikael Kubista concludes.