What aptamers are?
Aptamers are single-stranded nucleic acids (ssDNA and RNA) of short length that, depending on the sequence and environmental conditions, adopt defined three-dimensional structures, which enables them to bind stably and highly specific for their targets, ranging from small molecules to complex multimeric structures.
Aptamer selection is an in vitro process that is performed by SELEX method (Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment) from populations with a high diversity of sequences and, consequently, of structures. Aptus Biotech has developed own systems that optimize the selection process and identify the best aptamers.
The characterization of the interaction between selected aptamers populations or individual aptamers with the target is performed using different techniques such as SPR, ELISA, slot blot, or Western blot.
Aptamers production is performed by chemical synthesis, unlike most of the molecules that act in a similar manner, which confers significant advantages: cost, quality control and possibility to adapt/customize them
Advantages of aptamers
In the therapeutic field, aptamers are a clear alternative to antibodies, presenting chemical and biological properties that confer important advantages: high reproducibility, stability at room temperature, quality control and low manufacturing cost (very important factors in the manufacturing of GMP batches, reducing the cost of development and future exploitation costs); low immunogenicity (not generate immune reaction, which is key in the regulatory process), ability to be customized and smaller size (better penetration of the blood brain barrier and easier adhesion to the target molecule). Summarizing, aptamers advantages are the following:
- High reproducibility.
- Conservation: high stability at room temperature.
- No immunogenicity.
- Production by chemical synthesis.
- Quality control.
- Ability to adapt and customize features.
- Smaller size: greater ability to penetrate tissues, adhesion to target molecules and better penetration of the blood brain barrier.