Creators of A Technology That Will Advance Drug and Diagnostic Development
Enzium is a biotech company responsible for developing Ensens: a customizable and selective antibody-free enzyme detection kit for use in drug discovery by research laboratories and pharmaceutical companies.
Enzium developed a customizable enzyme activity detection kit that will allow pharmaceutical companies and lab researches to monitor previously difficult-to- screen enzymes which helps make drug discovery and research more accurate and cost-effective.
Thousands of different enzymes play a significant role, not only in the everyday functions of many parts of the body, but in disease pathways as well. Generally, one or two particular members of an enzyme family of 20 or more enzymes are responsible.
Drugs that affect an entire family of enzymes usually have unwanted side effects that prevent the drug’s success; successful drugs target only the one or two enzymes responsible for a disease. Current technology allows researchers to see how a specific drug affects an entire enzyme family overall within a patient’s cells, but it does not allow researchers to see how a drug affects each individual enzyme in the family. Being able to measure the effect of a drug on individual enzyme family members, instead of the whole family at once, is invaluable in developing drugs and preventing unwanted drug side effects.
Enzium’s proprietary detection kits, based on EnSens technology, enables researchers to target one enzyme and observe its activities and reactions to certain drugs being tested. Unlike other technologies, EnSens is highly customizable and can be used in applications across the drug development pipeline.
Proteases are a family of enzymes involved in cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative disease, inflammation, and many others. They are a major family studied and targeted by drug and diagnostic development companies. Enzium is dedicated to enabling the detection of individual protease family members to improve the drug development process by developing fluorescent based reagents using its unique and proprietary modular protein and dye technology.
The EnSens technology, has lego-like protein blocks can be quickly swapped in and out tso Enzium can build new, custom, and selective assay reagents for customers so they can pinpoint exactly which enzyme is activated or inhibited by a particular drug.
The EnSens technology is delivered to the customer as a specialized kit which provides more useful information about a specific enzyme that researchers are interested in. With EnSens, researchers can quickly and accurately calculate how well certain drugs affect the activity of an individual protease in a disease pathway.
Enzium’s EnSens technology is built on a modular protein (protease substrate) and a fluorescent dye that are mixed together in a solution and provided all in one ready-to-use kit.
The kit is composed of the EnSens substrate, a Far Red Fluorogen (FRF), and an optimized reaction buffer. A sample of customer choice, whether cells, tissue or pure protease, is added to the EnSens mixture. If there is active protease of interest in the sample used, then the EnSens substrate is cleaved (or cut). The cleaved EnSens substrate binds the fluorescent dye causing the dye to produce a fluorescent light indicating individual protease activity. The amount of light emitted corresponds to the amount or activity level of the protease of interest.
Each standard EnSens kit is enough to run 100 or 385 reactions and the test only takes 30 to 60 minutes. Kits can be customized to run more reactions or to run very small volumes of sample. The technology can also be customized to be used on any exisiting fluorescence detecting equipment, with automated equipment, and can be integrated across the entire drug research pipeline.
Enzium has an advantage over existing technology because it is:
Enzium is already in the market, generating revenue, with repeat orders already being made by satisfied customers. We have recenlty signed with distribution partners in the United States, Japan, Europe, Scandinavia, and Canada.
We already have 2 patents protecting our technology, with a third one in the pipeline, and we continue to develop and expand our product line. Our third patent is for a new Crohn’s Disease diagnostic test that we are developing with Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, FlowMetric Diagnostic, and Zeus Scientific.
Thanks to the funding we have received so far through notes and grants from BioAdvance, National Institutes of Health, Carnegie Mellon University’s Don Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, Idea Foundry, CMU GAP funds, and the i6 program we have been able to reach all of our milestones over the past two years.
We are currently building strategic development and licensing partnerships to build out our product applications and catalog.
Our press mentions include BizJournals, BioCompare,Technical.ly, usciences.edu, Carnegie Mellon University Olympus, Being Bioreactive,PM360 Online, and tebu-bio.
The EnSens technology, the foundation of Enzium, was built using a 5-year, multi-million dollar, specialty grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health for discovering new technology for tracking cellular pathways and interactions. Crystal Falco and Dr. Peter Berget worked on building the EnSens technology while working at Carnegie Mellon University. With the aid of an advisory board consisting of Tepper School of Business faculty, Carnegie Mellon University Technology Transfer Office staff, and IP counsel, Crystal and Peter decided to spin the technology out, thus Enzium was born.
Crystal developed Enzium’s technology
She has over 15 years of experience in molecular biology and fluorescent assay development. She has worked with and developed technology while working at GlaxoSmithKline and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. While working on her MBA at Carnegie Mellon, she also worked at the Molecular Biosensor and Imaging Center developing the EnSens technology. She is an alum of Johns Hopkins University where she earned her M.S. in Biotechnology and also an alum of Penn State University where she earned her B.S. in Biology.
Peter is the inventor of Enzium’s technology
He is in an award winning emeritus faculty at Carnegie Mellon University, and has patented several previously commercialized molecular biology tools. He earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Minnesota and did his post-doc studies at the MIT. In addition to his role with Enzium, Peter currently sits as the Chair of the Biology Department for the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.